Electrical outlets form a major part of our everyday lives. You can find them in every room of your home. Lamps, phone charges, laptop cables, and power outlets all need to plugged into these outlets. Unfortunately, standard electrical outlets were not designed with children’s safety in mind, thus necessitating the need for childproofing – until now. Tamper-resistant receptacles are designed with your children’s safety in mind. Continue reading to learn more about these receptacles.
What are Tamper-Resistant Receptacles?
Tamper-resistant receptacles have spring-loaded shutters that block access to the contacts unless a 2 prong plug is inserted, helping ensure your child cannot insert an object, such as a hairpin, key, etc. The national electric code now mandates the use of tamper-resistant receptacles, so if your home was built in or after 2014, you may be in luck. There is no guarantee, however, that these were installed so it’s always best to make sure that all outlets are tamper proof.
Why Require Tamper-Resistant Receptacles?
The dangers of objects being inserted into electric outlets is very real. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that each year, approximately 2,400 children are injured when they stick items into the slots of standard outlets (those that are not tamper-resistant). If your outlets are not tamper-proof, you have several options, including electrical outlet caps and sliding plate covers. If you’re open to making some modifications, consider replacing the outlets entirely.
Childproofing Occupied Outlets
Tamper-resistant receptacles, outlet covers and sliding plate covers can keep children safe when nothing is plugged in, but what about when you’re using the outlet? Tugging on a cord presents its own share of problems! Some outlet covers are designed to stop little fingers from tugging on cords. These covers feature a box that encloses the entire outlet plate while allowing room for a plug. Cords feed through holes in one side, letting you keep electronics plugged in without making the outlet vulnerable. Similar covers exist for power strips.
Contact a Local, Licensed Electrician
To make sure all your bases are covered, consider contacting a local, licensed electrician to conduct a full safety electrical inspection of your home. If you have a new home, they can inform you as to whether or not your outlets are tamper-resistant.