Electrical systems have the potential to be very dangerous to you and your family. If you don’t take the necessary safety measures, an accident could happen. Fortunately, there are preventative steps you can take to ensure your family’s safety.
In this article, we will be going over some minor adjustments you can make to make your home safer for your pets and children.
Hide Electrical Cords
One of the biggest concerns for parents and pet owners is the electrical cords scattered throughout the home. Pets or young children can bite into the extension cord and put themselves at risk for electrical shocks.
Whether it’s an extension cord to the television or a cord plugged into the toaster, these cords should be hidden out of view. Tuck cords under rugs, behind desks, or invest in floor cord covers.
You want to make it as difficult as possible to reach the electrical cords in your home. This process can require some creativity, but it will be worth it when you can relax knowing your family is safe.
Install Electrical Outlet Safety Caps
Children can be very curious, which sometimes isn’t a good thing when touching things like dangerous electrical components. Sticking metal objects in the openings of an electrical outlet puts the child in extreme danger and can potentially start a fire.
To prevent dangerous situations, invest in kid-friendly power strips and outlet caps from your local hardware store. The plastic guards protect the outlet openings from being tampered with by curious children.
There are numerous designs for outlet covers available. For younger children, simple outlet caps can be enough. However, older children can pull these caps out, requiring a more extensive approach to protect them.
Keep Electrical Appliances Out of Reach
Many families often underestimate the dangers of electrical appliances. While the electrical component of an appliance can be dangerous, there are also dangers in the cord connected to it.
Children or pets can take hold of an electrical cord and pull an appliance off a counter and onto themselves. Generally, you want to keep appliances and their cords out of reach of children and pets.
Place appliances on a high countertop and connect them to the outlet above the countertops. If you can’t find an outlet in the area, put an extension cord in a wire track that will keep it secure and out of view.
Take Time to Educate
There are some things that children and pets can learn after making mistakes. In electrical systems, you need to teach them to take precautions and not find out the consequences the hard way.
Train pets to avoid certain areas of your home where there is the greatest risk of electrical hazards. Give positive reinforcement when your dog moves away from electrical cords in the area.
Teaching children not to tamper with electrical systems will also be very important. Set rules in the household to avoid doing anything dangerous with outlets or cords. The rules in your home could be:
- Don’t use electronics near water
- Don’t stick your fingers or objects in electrical outlets
- Don’t pull hard on electrical cords connected to appliances
- Stay far away from areas with exposed wires or broken appliances
Don’t play down the dangers that can come with electrical systems. Continue to enforce the idea that they should not touch outlets or electrical cords until they better understand proper precautions.
Install GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are designed to protect your home’s electrical system and protect people from getting shocked. A GFCI will continue to monitor the electrical current and cut off the power if it senses a disruption in the electricity flow.
There are already GFCI outlets installed in newer homes in areas susceptible to moisture, such as outside, bathrooms, and kitchens. If water enters the holes of the outlet, it will automatically shut the flow of power off.
The same happens when it senses that a foreign object has entered the outlet. It will turn off the power in 1/13th of a second. That speed is fast enough where an electrical current can not affect someone’s heart or result in a painful shock.
If you want to reset the power after it has tripped, you will press the reset button in the center of the outlet. These outlets are simple to install but will make a big difference in keeping your home and family safe.
Monitor Your Electrical Panel
The electrical panel is the core of your home’s electrical system, with each light, outlet, and appliance receiving power from it. If the electrical panel works incorrectly, it will affect your entire home and its electrical system.
Like every piece of equipment, your electrical panel will gradually degrade over time and lose its functionality. Once the panel is no longer working correctly and can’t be repaired, you should replace the entire electrical panel. We recommend monitoring any irregular occurrences such as: burning smells, circuit breakers tripping, lights flickering, crackling sounds, or charred wires.
If you want to keep your family safe from electrical hazards, follow the tips in this article to create a safe environment. Keeping outlets and electrical cords out of reach and teaching proper safety will give you peace of mind.
Contact us today to schedule a professional installation if you need assistance installing GFCI’s or other electrical safety equipment.