Childproofing your home is an important task for parents and caregivers. Keeping your little ones safe from harm is a huge responsibility and one that we must be constantly vigilant about. Babies and very young children have an incredible knack for getting into dangerous situations so we recommend crawling around on your hands and knees to see what hazards may exist at the level of your baby or child. Hazard you may not see rom your hight instant become obvious at child height.
Electrical receptacles are one of the most dangerous household hazards for babies and young children. Positioned at child height, the temptation to play with receptacles is ever present in every room. Many Canadian children have been seriously hurt from inserting items like scissors, hairpins and keys into electrical outlets. Plastic outlet plugs have been on the market for decades and while they provide some measure of protection they are by no means foolproof. They are frequently left off accidentally or are deftly removed by clever little fingers! Kids watch everything we do and quickly learn that those plugs can be removed.
Unfortunately, we have personal experience with the ineffectiveness of those plastic plugs used to “baby proof” electrical outlets. Many years ago, our one-year-old son figured out how to remove a plastic safety plug and suffered a serious electrical shock when he inserted a hairpin he found in the carpet (likely dropped by a houseguest). While our son was fortunate not be permanently injured, that is not always the outcome for other children.
Fortunately, childproofing your home is made a little easier these days thanks to tamper resistant receptacles. These receptacles are quick and easy for an electrician to install and they do a great job of protecting your child from electric shock. These receptacles have built in protection in case a child tries to insert an object in one of the openings but still provide easy access to power for other family members.
The Canadian Electrical Code now requires all new homes to be built with tamper resistant receptacles but this law does not extend to pre-existing homes. The onus is on homeowners to convert standard receptacles to tamper resistant receptacles. Installing these receptacles is one of our favourite tasks as an electrical contractor because as parents of 5 children ourselves (and grandparents to 3), we KNOW how quickly little ones can get into mischief and we also know the value of peace of mind!
Are you childproofing your home? Let Comox Valley Electric help you keep your children safe from electric shock – get in touch to book an appointment today!