With the New Year here, this is often a time that we think about life, family, and what’s important to us. And if you have children, one of the things that is always important to parents is: your children’s safety.
Kids are naturally energetic and curious. They can get into absolutely everything, especially what you don’t want them to. Because of this, kids can get into danger and we must be diligent about electrical safety in our homes. At this time of year when we are thinking about our health and making healthy New Year’s resolutions for ourselves, why not take a moment to look around your home and consider the safety of your home’s electrical system.
Look At Your Home’s Wires
If you have any exposed wires (such as when you are doing renovations), or even electrical cords, this is important! Look out for frayed wires! Fraying typically happens on either end of the electrical cord and can occur because of time or the way in which we use the wires. If they are pinched or bent against the wall by a piece of furniture, a break is likely to happen in the cable and our wires can get damaged. And while a frayed wire may still work, it is dangerous to keep around.
Children can find frayed wires and hurt themselves due to the overheating of the wires, the sharpness of the frayed wire itself or the electrical charge that can run through them if touched with wet or sticky hands, something young kids tend to have. Don’t try to repair a frayed wire. Replace it.
Keep your electrical cords close to the walls. If you have electrical cords running through the middle of rooms or doorways, they are easy for kids to trip over which will cause harm. Keep wires and electrical cords out of well-travelled areas.
Check your outlets! Young kids love these things because they are so mysterious. If you have a lot of outlets within reach of children in your home, make sure they are tamper resistant receptacles or that the outlets are covered and childproofed.
Tamper resistant receptacles stop objects other than electrical plugs from being inserted. They have been required in some new builds and renovations since 2008. If you have a newer home, you likely have these already. If not, or if you’re unsure, your outlets can be inspected and new ones installed, if needed, by a professional.
Outlet protectors can also be purchased and put into our outlets. For them to be effective, we must remember to place them back in the outlet after we have used it.
Examine your lights! Any bulbs that we use in our kids rooms should be LED and produce lower heat so they are not burning to touch. As well, we should make sure that no lights bulbs are touching blankets, curtains, stuffed animals, scattered clothes or books in our kids’ rooms or the rest of our house.
And don’t forget to teach your kids about electrical safety! Instruct them about what they should stay away from, look out for, and why. Yes, having safer outlets is important for right now but making sure your children are electricity-aware can help them for life.