Electricity is at the center of modern life. It lets us cook food, watch movies, heat water, and keep homes warm. Electric is essential, but it can also be a hazard, especially for children. Fortunately, electrical services include plenty of safeguards to make electricity in your home as safe for children as possible.
Many aspects of electronic devices are attractive to young children. Devices have all sorts of colorful buttons and switches. It’s important for parents and caregivers to carefully audit homes to identify and secure any electronics that present a risk. Electrical services professionals are very helpful with such audits and may identify potential hazards that homeowners miss.
Surge protectors and outlet extenders are a great way to keep multiple devices plugged in at once. Children may find these devices very interesting. Continuously pulling plugs out of outlets or plugging them back in drastically increases the chance of an electrical shock.
Parents may want to distribute electrical devices throughout the home instead of keeping multiple devices in one place. Keep equipment and devices that must be used together with multiple outlets in rooms children do not have unsupervised access to. Keep power strips on high shelves or other places children can not reach easily. Call a local electrical services provider for help safely organizing electronics.
Open and Unused Outlets
Children may be attracted to wall outlets and attempt to explore with foreign objects. Cover unused sockets with plates or safety plugs. Sliding covers allow fast access to frequently used outlets.
Service providers have safety covers or plugs for almost every type of outlet. Teach older children the correct way to plug cords in and remove them from outlets. The plug should be held firmly during insertion and removal, and never pull on a cord to pull a plug from an outlet.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Homes with children should have an electrical services provider install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, CFCIs, at every outlet. A CFCI measures how much electricity flows from an open source. The device interrupts, or shuts down, the flow of electricity if an electrical surge is detected and when appliances are exposed to water. CFCIs are extremely sensitive so they can shut down electrical current flow for minor problems.
Tamper-resistant outlets are another option to make outlets safer for children. A tamper-resistant outlet operates on a spring-loaded shutter and stays closed when the outlet is not used. The outlet only permits a flow of electricity when equal pressure is applied to both sides of an outlet simultaneously.
Inserting a plug applies pressure equally, but a child inserting a foreign object into an outlet applies more pressure to one side of the outlet than the other side. Speak to a local electrical services provider to discuss tamper-resistant outlet installation.
Keep Electronics and Cords in Good Condition
Examine electrical appliances to make sure they are in good condition. Many electrical injuries are related to household appliances and power tools. Look for frayed or damaged cords on appliances, devices, and lamps.
Dispose of damaged cords immediately, and be especially careful of extension cords that are often pulled apart accidentally and subjected to stress. Consult professional electrical services to check wall outlets regularly and inspect them for cracks and other signs of damage.
Some stove knobs are made to resist tampering by children, although the safest option may be removing or covering knobs unless they’re being used. Children under seven should not have access to microwaves at all.
Televisions should always be mounted securely. A television can fall on a child and cause severe injuries. Sometimes children play with cords around televisions and entertainment centers and pull the devices off-balance. Keep cords safely organized and secured. An electrical services provider in Myrtle Beach, SC, can help parents find solutions to minimize risk from these hazards.
Potential Outdoor Hazards
Children enjoy playing outside, but there are potential electrical hazards outside too. Many homes have a transformer box in the front or back
yard. These boxes handle the final voltage transformation for power distributed to the home.
Teach children to stay away from transformer boxes. Keep all power boxes locked, whether they are inside or outside the home, and store the keys out of reach of children.
It’s also a good idea to warn children against throwing balls or flying kites or mechanized toys around power lines. Never try to retrieve a toy that does become stuck on or near power lines. Call an electrical services provider to retrieve the toy or other items near power lines.
Keep Water and Electricity Separated
Adults generally know that water and electricity are a dangerous combination, but children may not fully understand the danger. Store electrical appliances and devices away from sinks, bathtubs and other sources and use caution with appliances that must be used near water.
The bathroom and kitchen are common sites of electric and water mishaps. Keep blow dryers, hair straighteners, and electric razors safely stored in
a bathroom cabinet. Make sure all kitchen appliances, such as toasters or blenders, are safely put away when not in use. Teach children
not to touch any electronic device, power outlet, cord, or switch with wet hands.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International estimates that an average of 7 children are injured due to unprotected wall sockets and other electrical hazards every day in the United States. Parents are in the home with their children in approximately 70% of these cases.
Taking steps to protect children from electrical hazards is extremely important. Accidents can happen very quickly, even when parents are supervising their children. Call the professionals at Mister Sparky® of Myrtle Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC, for high-quality electrical services to help minimize risk of electricity-related injury in your home.