Did you know that one of the most common home accidents involve children tampering with power outlets? A report published in 2015 by the Consumer Products Safety Commission showed 27% of electrical accidents affected children under the ages of 5. This statistic is especially alarming considering their age group only accounted for 6% of the population. It becomes even more troubling when you realize there are easy, affordable ways to childproof your home against these types of accidents. The most popular and proven methods have been installing Tamper-Resistant Receptacles (TRR), and screw-less wall plate covers.
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The first step to making your electrical outlets childproof is to replace your standard wall plates with screw-less ones. These wall plates are designed to stop children from removing the screws that cover wiring and components of a wall outlet. On average, 2,850 children are injured by outlet-related accidents each year, and most of injuries suffered came from using common household objects. In controlled testing environments, researchers watched children place hairpins, paper clips, keys and fingers into outlets (which of course had no power source). These studies lead manufacturers to develop Tamper-Resistant Receptacles.
Before the arrival of Tamper-Resistant Receptacles, parents used plastic outlet plugs to cover electrical sockets, but this was an ineffective solution. A study by Temple University found that 100% of all 2-4 year olds were able to remove one type of plastic outlet cap within 10 seconds.
“Do you remember these from your childhood? I do, and I can tell you there were only effective in stopping our cat from electrocuting itself.”
Tamper-Resistant Receptacles are the 2nd step in making your home more child safe. They offer a permanent solution to covering your outlets. Their built-in shutters prevent foreign objects from being inserted into the receptacles while allowing standard electrical plugs to enter with ease. As of 2008, the National Electric Code (NEC) required these electrical outlets to be installed in new and renovated homes, and on all outlets below 5 feet from the ground. Since then, additional structures have been added to the list such as: childcare facilities, preschools, elementary schools, hotels, motels, lobbies, guest/patient rooms, gyms, auditoriums, medical and dental offices, clinics, hallways and business offices. Surprisingly, many people still have not updated their homes or business with the proper child-safe measures, but now you know. Don’t let that be the case in your home.
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