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Electrical outlet safety tips to protect young kids from harm

electrical outlet safety tipsMay has been designated as Electrical Safety Month by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which promotes electrical safety in homes, schools and workplaces annually – especially when it comes to electrical outlet safety tips for young kids.

Be sure to follow these electrical outlet safety tips

  • Consider installing tamper-resistant receptacles to protect young children. If you’ve ever tried to childproof your home, you’ve likely seen these receptacle covers that plug into electrical sockets. A study at Temple University found that 100 percent of kids from ages 2 to 4 were able to remove these covers in as little as 10 seconds. Tamper-resistant receptacles are designed to prevent insertion of foreign objects and are more reliable than outlet covers.
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) as a way to avoid electrocution. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that the number of electrocutions has been cut in half since GFCIs were introduced. Additionally, GFCIs are required for outlets installed in bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, outdoors or anywhere that could potentially be damp. Modern GFCIs are advanced to the point of being self-testing.
  • Fight off the biggest electrical safety risk in the home – fire. Fires are typically caused by overloaded circuits (either too many items are plugged into a single circuit, or the items plugged in are demanding too much power). Electrical fires cause an estimated $1.4 billion in property damage each year. Warning signs of overloaded circuits include flickering or blinking lights, wall plates that are warm or discolored, burning odors coming from receptacles and frequently tripped circuit breakers. If you see or experience any of these signs, your first step should be to reduce the electrical demand by removing appliances or other items. If problems persist, consult a qualified electrician for further inspection.

Let’s have this Electrical Safety Month be a friendly reminder for us to follow these tips to protect our young ones.

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