Every parent wants their home to be a safe and happy place for their baby to explore. But the truth is a modern home can be a hazardous place for an adventurous toddler. Electricity is an unavoidable element of modern life, and every home is filled with appliances, outlets, and electrical cords that can be dangerous for little ones.
Our electrical repair experts are highly trained in identifying these hazards. Our team at Harrison Electric has put together this handy guide to babyproofing your home.
Electrical Hazards for Babies Are Everywhere
As any parent knows, babies get into everything. Electronic equipment, appliances, outlets, and electrical wires all pose untold dangers for little explorers. Young children are frequently injured while playing with, chewing, or biting electrical cords or outlets.
Electric shock from a strong electrical current can cause serious burns and injuries, seizures, asphyxiation, cardiac arrest, or even death. Besides the risk of fatal electrocutions, electrical dangers also pose fire hazards.
We want your home to be as safe as possible, so follow these safety precautions to create a safe environment for your baby.
Assess Your Home’s Electrical Hazards
Go through your house room by room to assess any hazards. Take pictures or make a list of areas of concern. Our electrical experts can help you assess your home’s hazards.
Make note of the following:
- All electrical outlets
- Extra long cords
- Power strips
- Major appliances
Replace Outlet Covers With Tamper-Resistant Outlets (TRRs)
In the past, parents relied on plastic outlet covers to protect their curious offspring from the hazards of electrical outlets. However, these cheap plastic outlet covers are easy to remove and can present a choking hazard.
As your electrical contractor, Harrison Electric can replace these with tamper-resistant receptacles or TRRs. These outlets include a built-in shutter system to prevent objects from being inserted. Insert plugs by applying equal pressure in both slots, making the outlet permanently safe for your child.
Cover the Outlets With Furniture
Babies can move quickly, and if you have outlets occupied regularly for items like lamps, computers, or TVs, it is another area that could be a concern. The easiest way to make this a babyproof space is to ensure the access points are thoroughly hidden behind furniture or invest in a babyproof occupied outlet.
Items like outlet box covers will completely cover the space, and even though they are usually used outdoors to protect the plugins from the elements, they can be used for childproofing inside. And if you have any questions or concerns about the type of box cover to choose, Harrison Electric can answer any questions and help with an outlet replacement to create safer space in your home.
Keep Electrical Appliances Away From Water
It is common knowledge that you do not want electrical appliances away from water, and if there are no children in the environment, chances are you don't need to worry about this. But when you have a new baby, there is always a much higher risk of something happening.
So, as you are making an inventory of potential electrical hazards around your home, it's good to double-check that there are no electrical appliances near any water sources, primarily in areas like the bathroom and kitchen where you have toasters and hair dryers that may be continuously plugged in.
Utilize Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters
These interrupters are traditionally found in places like laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, or anywhere that may be close to water. They are easily identified because the words "reset" and "test" are listed on them.
The design's purpose is to shut off if there are any detections of current surges, which could be due to contact with water or overheating. This can help reduce the risk of electrical shocks and make your baby safer. Harrison Electric specializes in GFCI outlet installation, so you know you have experts at your side.
Reduce Electrical Strips
Power strips can offer a perfect solution for the problem of too many cords. Unfortunately, they are usually found down on the ground where babies are learning to crawl, play, and explore. With all their holes and buttons, they can look like a tempting toy.
This is a good time to assess your reason for needing a power strip to begin with. A better solution is to install more electrical outlets where you need them. An electrician from our team can help you determine the best places for new outlets and install them with tamper-resistant outlets.
Cover or Hide Electrical Cords
Electrical cords are tempting for little ones to pull, bite, or chew, and unplugging them can seem like a pretty fun game for babies. They can also provide serious tripping or strangulation hazards, especially for toddlers on the go.
Several options are available for hiding and covering electrical cords:
- Roll up the extra length into a small coil and zip tie to keep it in place. Be careful to remove or tape over any sharp end.
- Use duct tape to cover cords. Get creative and use colorful designs!
- Purchase an electrical cord shortener and attach it to the wall with Velcro command strips.
Harrison Electric Can Help You Babyproof Your Home
At Harrison Electric, we are experts at making your home safe. Our highly skilled electrical repair experts understand what it takes to remove hazards and create a safe environment for young children to explore.
An expert residential electrician can replace the damaged wiring in your home and install childproof electrical outlet covers. We can also help if you need a circuit breaker fixed or a ceiling fan replacement. To find out more about our services, visit our Plymouth, Minnesota location. You can also call us at 763-544-3300, or you can message us at firstname.lastname@example.org