Residential electrical systems pose a serious threat to children if not maintained properly, because electrical outlets, power strips, extension cords, and appliances are all potentially hazardous to your kids. To help protect your little ones from electrical shock or fire hazards, the residential electrical contractors at RD Matthews Electrical in Northern Virginia have compiled their list of frequently asked questions regarding baby proofing your home’s electrical system, providing you with a brief guide to keeping your toddlers safe.
4 Common Questions About Baby Proofing Residential Electrical Systems
1. Should I Install Outlet Covers?
Placing covers over all your electrical outlets is one of the easiest ways to protect your children from electrical shock in your home. Widely available in hardware or home improvement stores, these are inexpensive products that can prevent your kids from inserting items such as paper clips and nails into your outlets, ultimately saving them from harmful and potentially deadly shocks. Investing in covers with AFCI or GFCI technology will baby proof your residential electrical system even further.
2. Can I Still Use Power Strips & Extension Cords?
Power strips and extension cords should be mounted on surfaces out of children’s reach, such as shelves and counters, in order to minimize the possibility of electrocution or fire. Ideally, it is best to avoid or hide power strips altogether.Extension cords can pose risks for both strangulation and electrocution as small children have wrapped cords around their necks and babies have been known to chew through electrical wiring, thus leading to serious harm or even potential death.
3. How Can I Prepare for an Electrical Crisis?
Knowing where your breaker box is and how it works is probably the best advice a residential electrical contractor could give you in terms of prepping for an unpredictable crisis. In an emergency, the first step you should take to protect your family is to go to the breaker box and switch it off, thus disabling power throughout your home. This is particularly important when there is flooding, as electrical currents can travel through water and unexpectedly harm your kids.
4. Could You Provide Me with a Checklist for DIY Inspections?
While an experienced residential electrical contractor would be able to fully inspect and baby proof your home, there are some things you can do to minimize risks yourself. These include:
- Avoid placing appliances near sinks or bathtubs
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Never overload an outlet with plugs
Get Professional Residential Electrical Service Now
For residential electrical contractors in Northern Virginia, contact RD Matthews Electrical today.