As a loving parent, you might be focused on childproofing your home and encouraging healthy habits. Unfortunately, even the most attentive mom or dad can overlook inherent electrical dangers, increasing the risk of injury around the house. Here are three electrical outlet upgrades you need to make to protect your kids and why.
From humidifiers to baby monitors, parents often find themselves looking for a power outlet where there isn’t one. As a remedy, many folks grab an extension cord, which isn’t always a good idea. Extension cords are only meant to be used on a temporary basis, and failure to abide by this recommendation could spark a house fire.
Over time, extension cords can develop shorts in their internal wiring from being stepped on, thrown in drawers, or even moved frequently. If you decide to use an extension cord in your home instead of simply having additional outlets installed, you might be increasing your risks of cord damage and arc faults, putting you, your children, and your home in jeopardy.
Fortunately, you can prevent this common problem by having an electrician install additional outlets where you need them throughout your home. Examples of places you might be tempted to use extension cords include entertainment rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms without an adequate number of receptacles.
Before an electrician comes out to address your concerns, think carefully about the last time you had to look for an outlet. Ask family members if there are currently any extension cords in use in the rest of the house so that you can start work in those areas.
Children are naturally curious, but sometimes, that mix of innocence and interest can prompt them to make decisions that they can’t recover from. Unfortunately, outlets present some serious dangers to children, since kids like to stick foreign objects into these off-limits holes in the wall.
To prevent accidents, consider upgrading all of your home’s outlets with tamper-resistant versions. Although these outlets aren’t completely immune to damage, they are designed to make it more difficult for children to insert single objects into plugs, reducing the risk of accidental injury.
Created with special shutters on the inside of the receptacle, tamper-resistant wall outlets don’t create extra challenges for parents wanting to use the outlet, but they can help moms and dads to sleep a little easier at night with a motivated toddler in the house.
If you are considering making the change to tamper-resistant wall outlets, start in the areas your child is most likely to frequent during the day. Kid’s rooms, bathrooms, play areas, and main living spaces are great places for tamper-proof outlets, especially when these rooms aren’t always in plain view.
GCFI outlets are designed to immediately stop the flow of electricity when it gets too high, protecting people from the dangers of using electrical outlets around water, which is highly conductive. Unfortunately, like many other home components, GCFI outlets have a usable life, which means you need to replace them occasionally to keep your home safe.
As a general rule of thumb, GCFI outlets should be installed in any area where water could come in contact with electrical outlets, such as kitchens, bathrooms, sunrooms, and laundry rooms. These special outlets have a usable life of about 10 years, so consider having a professional replace yours if the versions in your home are older.
When you are ready to start making positive changes to your home, contact In Phaze Electric Inc. With a service area that encompasses more than 2,500 square miles in central Florida, we can help you to make your home safer and more functional while protecting your bottom line. For a free estimate, give us a call today.