When looking for a local North Shore electrician capable of meeting the electrical needs of your home or business, Best Pick Reports has done your homework for you. We identify electricians in North Shore Chicago who provide reliable, quality service for various electrical projects and repairs. Whether you are planning an addition to your family, are a new grandparent, or just want to make sure your home is a safe place for your friends’ kids to play, little ones shift the way you approach electrical safety in your home. Children are usually unaware of the many ‘givens’ we have about electrical safety. It is important to teach children how to behave appropriately around electricity in addition to taking your own steps to prevent electrical problems from occurring.
As small children begin crawling and walking around the home, electrical outlet safety may be one of the first things to come to mind. There are a few different options for making outlets safer for children. Contacting a Best Pick North Shore electrician for a safety inspection may be a good place to start when preparing your family home for a new addition.
Recent electrical codes require tamper-resistant outlets when replacing or installing traditional outlet plugs. Tamper-resistant outlets have spring-loaded shutters that close off the outlet’s contact openings. Inserting a plug compresses both springs at the same time, allowing the shutters to open and the metal prongs to complete the circuit. Since both springs must be compressed at the same time, the shutters will not open if a child attempts to insert an object into only one slot. If you live in an older home, you may consider having your outlets updated to tamper-resistant ones. Contacting a Best Pick North Shore area or Northbrook electrician for specific questions regarding older outlets can make your home safer for both children and adults.
Outlet plugs are plastic pieces that plug directly into the outlet’s sockets and effectively cap them so that nothing may be inserted. Plugs work adequately for outlets that are used occasionally, because they can be easily removed when the outlet needs to be utilized. However, children should not be left alone in rooms with outlet plugs, as the plugs are small and can be a choking hazard if a child were dexterous enough to remove them out of the socket.
Alternatively, outlet and power strip covers encase the entire outlet or power strip, leaving room for cords to poke out. These are ideal for outlets or power strips that have items like lamps or laptops plugged into them full time. These covers allow the outlet or power strip to be functional while protecting them from probing items or fingers. Outlet plates work similarly to an automatic sliding door. Cords can be plugged into outlets when the plate is manually pushed to the side. A spring slides the plate closed as soon as the cord is unplugged, covering the outlet and reducing the chance that a child will be able to tamper with the socket. Outlet plugs, covers, and plates can typically be purchased and installed by you, but if you notice anything unusual like a burning odor or sparks, it is best to turn off the power to those areas of the home and contact a North Shore Chicago or Northbrook electrician.
While tamper-resistant outlets and other outlet covers may add a level of safety in your own home, you cannot rely on other places to utilize them. Therefore, it is imperative that parents teach children to respect the potential angers electrical outlets have, as well as to exercise caution when near them—in your home and elsewhere. Instruct children not to stick fingers, utensils, or other objects inside electrical outlets or appliances. These actions can lead to a potentially deadly shock. Never use household appliances near water sources and consider your behavior as a model for children. If children see you listening to the radio near the tub, they will assume this action is safe, and they may try it, not fully understanding the dangers involved.
As for outlets located near water sources, double check that they contain ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), which are designed to prevent people from receiving electrical shocks. A GFCI receptacle typically has two outlets as well as “test” and “reset” buttons. If the GFCI detects a short circuit developing, it stops the flow of electricity before anyone is seriously injured. If you believe your GFCI receptacles are in need of repair or have any other electrical needs, then contact a Best Pick North Shore or Northbrook electrician.