11 Feb Baby and Child Proofing Electrical Outlets
When our children were very young Michael and I recognized the importance of safeguarding them from the dangers from electrical outlets. Just like you electrical products are a major component of your everyday life, and are in every room of your home. Power outlets, power strips, extension cords, phone chargers, computer cables and other electrical products were not designed with your baby or toddler’s safety in mind. I have had this conversation on home electrical safety with my daughter and son in law. We safeguarded their home when their daughter Hazel was born [she is so adorable – see image above – left side]. My nephew, Timothy is also in a home with his parents that we inspected safeguarded. It is comforting to know they are safe.
THE MOTIVATION BABY EQUATION
Baby/Toddler + Electricity = Disaster
When it’s time to child proof your home, you must consider anything electrical related because, electrical products and your young children just don’t mix.
In order to protect your child from a potential disaster, the following tips will be immeasurable.
Why Baby/Child Proofing Electrical Outlets
If you have ever experienced an electrical shock, you know how dangerous and painful it can be. If your baby puts any object in a power outlet or electrical socket (and they will try), then the result can be very detrimental. You definitely do not want to rush your child to an emergency room because they have been seriously injured by an electrical shock.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 2,400 children annually suffer from severe shock burns or worse caused by items being poked into the slots of electrical receptacles.
The bottom line is electrical outlets are dangerous! Before you run out and buy baby/child proofing products, you need to know the type of outlets you have in your home so you can purchase the appropriate safety equipment.
Behind the outlet cover is a receptacle that the electrical wires screw into. Each outlet in your house will be one of the following:
1. Regular electrical Receptacle
The regular electrical receptacle has vertical slots. These slots are open, allowing your baby to put objects inside. If your house was built prior to 2008 and you have not renovated then chances are you will have these installed.
The regular electrical receptacle will need to be baby/child proofed meaning outlet covers are required.
2. Tamper Resistant Receptacle
The Tamper Resistant Receptacle has vertical slots that are filled with plastic. They are spring loaded shutters that close off the openings to the contacts. The only time these shutters will open is if they are pushed simultaneously (while plugging something into the outlet). Your baby will not be able to compress both openings at once; in turn, he will be unable to poke anything into the outlet.
Houses built after 2008 will have tamper-resistant receptacles (also known as TRR’s) installed as a safety standard which is required by the National Electrical Code. If you have renovated after this date then the electrician should have also replaced your outlets. Wire Wiz Electrician Services can inspect and replace all the outlets in your home to ensure your baby/child’s safety.
The Tamper Resistant Receptacle does not require baby proofing.
It is important to know which kind of outlets you have in your home. They will be either standard or Decora style. The type of outlet will determine which baby proofing products will fit your outlet.
Key Differences in the outlet receptacles.
The key difference is how the outlet cover attaches to the receptacle. The standard style uses a screw (seen between the two outlets) while the Decora simply clips into the cover. If you have a GFCI power outlet, then for the purpose of baby proofing; consider a Decora outlet.
When you begin preparing your home for Baby/Child proofing a HOME SAFETY INSPECTION from Wire Wiz Electrician Services is warranted. Once the inspection is complete our award winning electricians will advise you on the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your home and family.
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