Maintaining a home is an ongoing process, yet many people wait until something stops working in the...
Electrical Safety: Here's How to Protect Your Children at Home
Every good parent makes their child's safety a top priority. Keeping kids safe these days can be challenging but there are some things you can do proactively do in your own house to ensure you are protecting them from danger - one great place to start is with electrical safety: here's how to protect your children at home.
Though some of these tips may seem like common sense, it's wise to review these items regularly and check that everything is up to safety standards in your house. This is not a complete checklist by any means, however, it's a good starting point for any household where children live.
- Cover up outlets. Little children are curious about everything, including open outlets. It's crucial to make sure that every open outlet in your home is covered. If you look around, it's very common to find unused outlets in various rooms of your house. Affordable plastic outlet covers are widely available for sale online or in your local hardware store. It's a simple solution: go get some, plug them into the outlets, and know that your home is now safer.
- Don't leave electrical cords in children's reach. We live in a world powered by electricity. In addition to the standard uses, which are common to most homes (lighting, washer/dryer, stove, refrigerator), the past few decades have added technology to our daily lives. With so many demands on a home's power grid, you can be sure there are electrical cords everywhere, which can be dangerous for anyone in the house due to the obvious tripping hazard. With children, there's the problem of chewing, or worse, choking, when cords are in easy reach. Bundling cords with zip strips or ties can be an easy fix, as long as you then hide the bundle from sight. Another tip is to install additional outlets, making it unnecessary to have cords stretching across the room.
- Install night lights for your children, but make sure they are entirely out of reach since there's a good chance a child will try to play with them otherwise. After all, many children's night lights are adorable, brightly colored, and feature their favorite characters. Check night lights regularly, as sometimes the bulbs can get fairly hot when they are left on for hours.
- Ensure the bathroom is a safe place for your kids. Time is always at a premium when you have small children, but you must keep in mind two things that make the bathroom potentially dangerous. The combination of water and electricity is never safe. Kids splash in the tub, leave the faucets running, and love to flush the toilet. All that water is intriguing to kids. If you use personal care tools and electrical appliances in the bathroom, such as an electric razor or toothbrush, a hairdryer, or a hair styling tool like a flat-iron, it can be easy to forget to unplug them. Despite the fact that you may be in a hurry, always make it a point to unplug all the electrical items you use in your bathroom - and don't forget to wind and secure the cords!
- Keep your fire extinguishers refreshed and available. It's easy to forget about updating them because most of us thankfully never need them. However, fire extinguishers need to be refreshed and recharged after use or after every 12 months, if they are not used. Since this is an annual chore, it can be overlooked. Don't let that happen: add this task to the calendar, and mark it on the same day that the batteries in the smoke detectors are to be changed.
- Make sure your circuit breaker box is efficient for the current electrical needs. Give thought to how much power is regularly used by your family before making a decision to upgrade. Be sure to take a look at your breaker box, or have it checked by an electrician. If it's necessary to update or replace your circuit breaker panel, have it done professionally.
Following these tips will keep your home safer for the kids and everyone else. You may choose to have a professional home safety inspection done. Contact Wilcox Electric today with any questions, or to request an estimate for implementing additional electrical safety measures to protect your family.