Expectant parents often read everything that they can get their hands on about what to expect with a new baby. They are ready to change diapers, soothe a fussy fella, and give baby’s first bath.
However, many new parents delay baby-proofing their homes because their newborn can’t get into anything dangerous yet. Parents are soothed by the illusion of time, feeling like they can worry about baby gates and outlet covers later. The problem is, those first eight to twelve months fly by in the blink of an eye. It feels as if overnight, your tiny newborn has begun crawling, walking, and then exploring everything she finds.
If you put off baby proofing your home and have suddenly realized that you need to do it like, yesterday, don’t worry. Our electrical experts have years of experience making electrical systems baby-safe so we can take your home from dangerous to exploration-ready in no time.
Where Do I Even Start?
As your little one becomes mobile, you should tackle the most dangerous areas of your home first. Chemicals, electrical cords, and outlets should be your primary babyproofing priorities because they can cause the gravest injuries to your child.
When it comes to childproofing your electrical systems, it is wise to trust professionals who can scour your home for potential danger and who have the expertise necessary to make sure that no preventable risks remain in your home.
Are You Struggling to Identify the Electrical Dangers in Your Home?
Childproofing Your Cords
Living rooms and home offices often have a plethora of cords because they house so many of our small electronics. In the kitchen, cords are often out of a small child’s reach, and unused appliances are easy to store in locked cabinets. But what do you do about all of the cords around your entertainment area or your computer?
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a great approach for childproofing. If your little guy or gal cannot see a cord, he or she will not be tempted to pull on it. In many cases, you can rearrange the furniture in your living room so that you can tuck many of your cords behind your TV stand or entertainment center.
If, however, you do not have outlets located near or behind your entertainment hubs, the expert electricians from Barnett Electrical can add outlets to your room to make it easier for you to hide cords. This works great in any room of your home, not just the living room.
Lamps also pose a threat when you have curious kids. If your child pulls on the lamp’s cord, he could accidentally pull them light down on himself. To make them safer, you can use cord wrappers to shorten the cable, place lamps near outlets, and use rubber cord covers, but sometimes that’s not enough.
A permanent solution that also eliminates a potential strangulation risk is to have an electrician install recessed or wall-mounted lights throughout your home so that you no longer need lamps. If you find that overhead lights are too bright in the evening, our electricians can put your new lights on dimmer switches. The evenings will be calmer and more ambient, which could even help your child wind down before bedtime.
Kids learn from imitation, which could be a part of what makes sticking things into outlets so appealing to them. When they see mom and dad plugging in an appliance, they want to try fitting something in there too. Unfortunately, doing so can have devastating consequences.
Protect your inquisitive toddler with spring-loaded outlets. To plug in an appliance, you have to insert the metal prongs with equal pressure on both outlet openings. When your little one tries to stick something into just one opening, the slides stay closed. When you unplug an appliance, the cover automatically slides closed again, safeguarding the outlet.
Spring-loaded covers are a safer choice than cheap plastic plug covers. When you use plastic inserts, you have to set them out of your child’s reach when you use an outlet because the small pieces of plastic are a choking hazard. Then, you also have to remember to put the insert back in place when you are done using an outlet. Spring-loaded covers pose no choking hazard, and there is nothing that you need to remember to put back in place when you finish using an outlet.
You already have enough to worry about as a parent, don’t let an outlet cover be one of them. Instead, let the knowledgeable professionals at Barnett Electrical install spring-loaded outlet covers throughout your home.
GFCI Outlets in Your Kitchen and Bathrooms
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are essential in rooms with running water or high levels of moisture. They have a built-in electricity monitor that causes the outlet to cut its power when it detects an electrical surge, such as when an appliance comes in contact with water.
They also cut power to the outlet if they detect that the outlet could overheat, which helps avoid electrical fires. GFCI outlets are a wise safety precaution in any home, not just those with children. If you’re ready to upgrade your outlets, schedule an appointment with a professional electrician.
Additional Electrical Safety Upgrades
If you live in an older home, schedule a consultation with the specialists from Barnett Electrical. Together, you can assess your home’s needs. If you have two-prong outlets, you and a knowledgeable electrician can determine if it is time to upgrade to grounded three-prong outlets.
If your home has a fuse box, Barnett Electrical professionals can inform you about the risks of overloading the electrical wires and demanding more power than your home is built to handle. Together, you can decide if a panel upgrade is necessary to make your entire house safer.
Professionals That You Can Trust
Placing your child’s well-being in someone else’s hands is a difficult decision. At Barnett Electrical, we know that electrical safety is critical for growing families. For over 30 years, we have been making homes safe places for children to learn, explore, and grow.
Schedule an in-home consultation with one of our knowledgeable electricians to discuss which safety measures would best serve you and your family.