Tamper-Resistant Outlets Keep Children Safe
Each year, around 2,400 children are injured by severe shock and burns by electrical outlets, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Fortunately, these injuries can be avoided. Parents can install childproof outlets in the home to protect their children and prevent them from sticking objects into outlets. Keep reading to learn about tamper-resistant outlets, their benefits, and signs to replace an old outlet.
How Do Childproof Outlets Work?
While some might wonder, “What are tamper-resistant outlets?” These devices can be essential to families. Childproof outlets, also called tamper-resistant receptacles, have built-in safety mechanisms to protect children. These devices have sliding or self-closing covers, making it difficult for objects to be inserted into the electrical slots.
The spring-loaded shutters cover the slots and remain closed until equal pressure is applied to both shutters at the same time by a plug. This means both shutters must be engaged before an object can be inserted into the outlet. When a homeowner inserts a plug into a tamper-resistant outlet, the prongs of the plug press against the spring-loaded shutters. The equal pressure from both prongs pushes the shutters open, allowing the plug to be fully inserted into the outlet. If a child tries to insert a foreign object like a toy into a tamper-resistant outlet, it will not be able to engage both shutters simultaneously, and the shutters will remain closed.
Benefits of Childproof Outlets
Parents of young children have many options regarding childproofing their outlets. While many may opt for removable outlet covers like plastic plugs or caps, these can actually present a danger to children. They can be easily removed, presenting the original electrical danger, and if a toddler removes a plug, it can be a choking hazard. Installing childproof outlets is a safer option for parents.
By incorporating spring-loaded shutters, these outlets reduce the risk of electrical shocks and injuries caused by inserting objects into the outlets. The shutters prevent toddlers from sticking toys and other objects into the slots and cannot be removed, meaning they will not be a choking hazard.
Some of the benefits these outlets provide are:
- Protect against electrical hazards.
- Peace of mind that toddlers and children are protected and are less likely to incur injuries.
- Homeowners do not need to add outlet covers or other devices to all the electrical outlets.
Signs to Replace an Old Outlet
To keep children protected, homeowners need to replace childproof outlets at the first signs of an issue. These signs of trouble with outlets also apply to outlets that aren’t tamper resistant. If homeowners notice these signs, they should schedule services with an electrician to replace the outlets. Some symptoms that can indicate outlet replacement services are needed include:
- There are signs of damage or wear and tear on the outlets, including a cracked faceplate.
- The plugs are falling out of the outlets due to loose connections.
- The outlet is providing intermittent power.
- The outlet feels hot to the touch.
- The outlet is old.
About ICT Electric
ICT Electric has more than 30 years of experience serving Rhinelander, WI, and the surrounding communities. They provide flat rate pricing and an on-time guarantee. Call them today for childproof outlet installation in Rhinelander, WI.