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  • Baby-Proofing Outlets: A Comprehensive Guide

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  • Baby-Proofing Outlets: A Comprehensive Guide

    June 22, 2018

    A child’s curiosity, while playful and innocent, can also lead to dangerous situations. This is especially true if their object of interest is an electrical outlet. A child toying with an electrical outlet can get electrocuted, which can lead to serious harm or even death. Therefore, it’s important to take ample safety measures with your outlets to help protect your children from electrical shock.

    The professionals at The Happy Outlet want to ensure their Carson City neighbors have all the facts on baby-proofing their outlets. We have provided a comprehensive guide below.

    Block all Unused or Rarely-Used Outlets

    For outlets in your home you rarely or never use, we recommend blocking them with furniture or other objects immovable by children. Although it’s not a viable solution by itself, hiding or blocking unused outlets does help prevent your children from getting close to them.

    Items such as a couch, nightstand, dresser, or other heavy furniture work well when blocking an outlet. Not only will children have a harder time getting close to these outlets – they may not even realize there is an outlet hidden away. However, as we stated, this step isn’t viable by itself, and should be paired with other baby-proofing practices.

    Equip Outlets with Plastic Plugs

    Plastic plugs are a cheap and formidable solution to help baby-proof your outlets. Usually available at only a few cents apiece, plastic plugs are inserted into the prongs of your outlet. Plastic is non-conductive, which means children cannot interfere with the outlet’s current because of the barrier created by the plastic plug.

    However, plastic plugs can be a nuisance if you use an outlet often. You’ll have to take out and replace the plastic plug each time you want to use the outlet. For outlets you use frequently, we recommend performing other steps.

    Cover the Entire Outlet

    Instead of just covering the prongs, you can purchase a plastic cover to shield the entire outlet. There are several different types of outlet covers. Basic outlet covers are usually just rectangular pieces of solid plastic, which you must remove if you want to use the outlet.

    A more complex and user-friendly type is the sliding plastic cover. Sliding plastic covers allow you to slide the plug-holes of an outlet away from the current, hence their name. This allows you to quickly switch from an outlet being usable to unusable. Although sliding plastic covers can be used to prevent children from receiving electrical shock, they also can prevent plugs from fully engaging to a current. Therefore, avoid plugging high-power appliances into outlets with sliding plastic covers.

    Upgrade to Tamper-Resistant Outlets

    One of the safest ways to baby-proof your outlets is by upgrading them to tamper resistant. Tamper-resistant outlets come equipped with plastic shutters behind the plug-holes that prevent any item other than a plug from being inserted. This is done via a spring-compressing mechanism that only activates when both shutters are pressed down. This prevents children from inserting objects into the outlet such as a fork, key, or their finger. Contact The Happy Outlet to install tamper-resistant outlets in your home.

    Improve electrical safety for your children by baby-proofing your outlets. And if you would like to help improve overall electrical safety for your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet for our electrical safety services. Give us a call at 775-841-9473 to schedule an appointment and get started.

    Additional Links:

    12 Safety Devices to Protect Your Children – CPSC

    Making Your Home Safe for Baby – Office on Women’s Health