Tips for Baby Proofing Home Electrical Items
Baby-proofing your home to protect a little one from shocks, trips, and falls is one of the most loving things you can do. Once a baby is in the house, everything looks like an electrical hazard! Here's how to baby-proof your home and keep everyone safe.
Install Electrical Outlet Caps on Empty Outlets
Like a moth to the flame, babies are drawn to electrical outlets. More than 2400 children are injured each year due to sticking items into electrical outlets, and there's an average of 10 fatalities in the same time period. That makes baby-proofing outlets a number one priority.
If your home was built in 2015 or later, you're in luck. Assuming it was built to code, new national electrical codes mandate installation of tamper-proof outlets that use spring-loaded shutters in the slots. If you're unsure if your new home's outlets are up to code, an electrician can inspect them. Otherwise, placing electrical outlet caps is the easiest and least expensive way to protect your baby.
Consider Outlet Plates
Slide plate covers are a more expensive option, but they don't require you to remove an outlet cap every time you want to use a plug. They're a simple DIY job and a more secure and safe option, as the plate automatically snaps back into place after you unplug your device.
Use Electrical Outlet Covers for Exposed Cords
What about outlets that have cords plugged into them? Yep, babies love them too. Baby-proofing in-use outlets and power cords is a bit more complicated, but there are some good options. The easiest one is to block the outlet whenever possible by using a piece of furniture. If that doesn't work, there are child-proof covers that make it virtually impossible for a baby to tug out the cord or stick something in the outlet.
Use Childproof Power Strips
We always recommend using few, if any, power strips (having your electrician install additional outlets is a far better option), but if you do, there are power strip covers available that go over the top of the strip. The cords are still exposed, but the outlets are blocked.
Use Cord Covers for the Floor
For exposed cords and cables that run across the floor, try a filmmaking trick and use gaffer's tape to secure them to the floor, baseboard, or wall. As with power strips, try to avoid using extension cords, especially with a baby in the house.
Use Cord Shortners for Long Cords
Wrap longer cords and cables into a loop and secure with tape or a zip tie. There are also plenty of fairly inexpensive gadgets that do the same thing but look a whole lot nicer.
One final tip: If you're traveling and want to protect your baby from electrical risks, carry a few outlet covers and a roll of tape with you so you can quickly secure outlets and tape down cords.
There you have it. The fundamental steps for baby-proofing your home include securing empty outlets, covering occupied outlets, securing power strips, and eliminating exposed cord risks. To learn more about baby-proofing your home or to schedule a home electrical inspection, talk to one of our qualified electricians today by contacting David Gray Electrical Services online or by calling us at (904) 724-7211.