Electrical Home Safety Tips You Need to Know!
Before you become a parent, you research, and you prepare. You make arrangements to bring your new bundle of joy home and one of the most important things you do is baby-proof the house. One of the biggest dangers we try to protect our kids from is electric shock and injury.
I don’t have babies in my home anymore but, I still worry about them getting shocked. The same measures I took to protect them then, I use now. Just a bit different. If you think back, I’m sure you can remember a time when you plugged in a plug the wrong way or pulled it out and you felt a shock. I know that when I was a teenager, I was plugging in my hair dryer and suddenly, I got a quick shock. I let go of the hair dryer quickly but, not only did it hurt, it scared me.
Actually, the majority of Ontarians say they have been shocked. But, we just tend to brush it off. But research has shown that low-voltage shock can cause serious long-term after effects. Symptoms like the feeling of pins and needles, numbness, memory loss and anxiety. The good news is that all electrical shocks are preventable! Read on for more information and helpful electrical home safety tips you need to know!
1. Inspect Your House
Look around your house and inspect all the power outlets. If your outlet has a missing or broken cover plate, replace it immediately. The cover plates are designed to build a barrier between your kids and exposed wires.
Watch for signs of electrical hazards like dim, flickering or surging lights, fuses that blow often, and outlets that don’t work after the breaker is reset. If you have any of these warning signs in your home, it’s a good idea to have a Licensed Electrical Contractor in to take a look.
2. Make Them Resistant
I have older kids and I am glad to have tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles (outlets). These are great for little hands or curious little ones that may feel tempted to stick fingers or other things into the outlets. Having tamper-resistant outlets throughout your home definitely helps to prevent shocks.
3. Keep It Out of Sight
Little ones are very curious and often explore by putting everything in their mouths. Heck, even bigger kids try things they shouldn’t. A good practice is to keep cords away from little hands and mouths. This is a serious shock hazard, so make sure that when you unplug something, you put it away or out of reach.
4. Teach & Practice What You Preach
Older kids are susceptible to getting shocks too. Be sure to show them how to plug in and unplug safely. Since they have so many gadgets, they can often overload the outlets by plugging in too many cords. Teach them to use an approved power bar that has surge protection instead. When it’s time to unplug, don’t yank cords from the wall. This can damage the gadget, the cord and the outlet too.
Make sure you lead by example, that way they can follow. Give them your tips. Did your toast get stuck in the toaster? Unplug the toaster before you go reaching in and never use cutlery to get it out! Sometimes, what we think is obvious, they may have never thought of.
5. Don’t Depend on Tape
Tape is not meant to protect from shocks. If a cord is frayed, the best thing to do is to replace it. Extension cords should only be used temporarily and if they get cracked or frayed, they may become a fire hazard. So, make sure you keep an eye on cords and replace them accordingly!
6. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Water and electricity can be a deadly mix. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters. They’re the ones with reset buttons and they help prevent shocks. Also, never remove a plug when your hands are wet, or if you’re touching a metal object. Plus, don’t forget to test them once a month!
7. Don’t DIY Electrical Work
Let’s face it, we’ve all tried to save a few pennies at one point in our lives. But when it comes to electrical work, let the experts do it and hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor. This will help you to prevent electric shocks and fire hazards since they’re required to know and follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
If you have the skill-set to do the electrical in your home, just make sure you take out the proper permits. It’s important to have a record of the work and to confirm it was done safely and to code.
Sometimes, we can’t prevent shocks and when they happen, it can be a bit scary. The best thing to do is to seek medical attention if anyone in your home has been shocked. I always say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Our kids are little sponges and they watch more than we know. So, be a good safety role model and they’ll take your lead!
Ready to WIN?
To inspire you to take on electrical safety head-on, one lucky Whispered Inspirations reader will win a $50 Home Depot gift card! This giveaway is open to Canada only. It opens on Oct. 27 and closes on Nov. 15.
Hopefully, now that you are armed with these electrical home safety tips, you can prevent shocks and keep your family safe.
How do you keep your kids safe from electrical shock?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Note: This post is sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.