It’s easy enough to forget that electrical outlets, while being absolutely necessary for powering up your home’s appliances, can also pose a serious safety risk – particularly with children. Think back to when you were a child. Chances are you ran around, marveling at any new object that was put in front of you. Kids are naturally curious and when they get sick of playing with their toys, you can guarantee they’ll move onto some other part of your home to play around with.
And electrical outlets especially are fascinating for young children making childproofing electrical outlets a must. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), nearly 7 children are treated in emergency rooms for electrical shock or burn injuries caused by tampering with a wall outlet EVERY DAY. That’s an average of 2,555 kids a year who are hurt by wall outlets.
While those numbers may be low when compared to the entire population, it’s better to put forth a little extra effort and make sure your children are completely safe from hazards. The popular way to childproof your electrical outlets to purchase outlet covers, but it can be a bit challenging to do this. You need to make sure the covers fit correctly and aren’t too easy for your child to pull out. Luckily, we’re here to help out!
Identify your outlets
You’ll first need to figure out what outlets are in your home. You’ll either have standard or decorator outlets and both have different requirements for childproofing. Though most packaging will identify what the item is compatible with, remember that most standard outlet items will not work decorator outlets and vice-versa.
– Standard outlets are held up by a single screw that can be found in the middle of the plate
– Decorator outlets have two screws, one at the top and the other at the bottom
Options for Childproofing Electrical Outlets
Option #1: Covers
If you have items that are plugged in all the time, like televisions or lights, then outlet covers are a good option. These plug right into the outlet and will keep the little ones from tampering with it.
Option #2: Plates
This option is a little more work, as a childproof plate will replace your existing outlet plate. These plates have a small sliding door covering the outlet when not in use. If you plug appliances in and out fairly regularly, this is a good option. And best of all, children won’t be able to figure out how the plates slide to expose the outlet.
Option #3: Plugs
These are good for outlets that rarely get any use. Outlet plugs just go right into the outlet, as if they were an appliance. The downside is that these can be taken off easily, but it is a cheaper option.
If you’d like some more advice on childproofing your outlets, or other electrical appliances, give us a call and we can help out!