The holidays are a beautiful time of year, with lots of sparkling lights and decorations. But using all of the electrical items can also put you and your family at risk for some dangers. Here are some things to keep in mind, in addition to using safety outlet covers, before you plug in the next decoration:
·Closely examine all of your lights and electrical decorations for frayed wires, bare spots, breaks, missing bulbs or other signs of excessive wear that can signal a potential danger.
·Use only UL-approved lighting on your Christmas tree and your bushes.
·Take care not to overload your outlets with more than they can handle.
·Connect your holiday strings of lights to an extension cord before you plug them into the outlet for safety.
·Never leave your holiday lights on when you go to bed or leave your home.
·If you removed outlet plugs from your outlet covers in order to use your decorations, be sure to replace these safety features after the holiday is over.
Child safety outlets are an inexpensive way to safeguard your house for your young children. For a small investment, you will get big savings in safety. For instance, a typical electrical outlet that is not child-proof averages about $1 to $3 each, while for $4 to $6, you can get a child tamper-resistant style that will prevent your children from being able to stick anything into the outlet and take the risk of getting electrocuted. To find an array of electrical outlet covers, check with local electrical supply stores, home improvement stores, hardware stores, discount houses and baby specialty stores. You can also shop online at websites that specialize in safety items and baby products.
Electrical safety starts from the inside out. Therefore, take the time to purchase a ground-fault circuit interrupter if you live in an older home that may not have these installed. This outlet cover safety works by stopping electricity from leaking out of your outlet cover. Either replace your existing outlets with new ground fault circuit interrupters to make your home safer, or use a plug-in or portable model. Ground-fault circuit interrupters are particularly important safety outlet covers to use in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
Safety is key when it comes to using electrical items. In addition to purchasing outlet safety outlet covers for all of your outlets, it is important to take steps to keep you and your family free from harm. Here are some things to make your outlets safer:
·Always check your outlet covers to be sure they are working properly and have not been tampered with by your children.
·Teach your children about the importance of safety and not touching electrical appliances.
·Avoid overloading outlets with too many plugs.
·Take special care at Christmas time to use separate plugs for your light-up decorations and your tree lights, to avoid causing a fire.
·Be on the lookout for fraying cords.
If you use a power strip to handle multiple plugs for television or computer equipment, you should take steps to keep your children away from this dangerous item, which may appeal to your curious youngsters. Use a power strip safety cover to block access to the plugs and to make it neat and also inaccessible. Like electrical outlet covers close off the outlets, the power strip cover goes over the entire strip area, including the on/off switch. It installs over the power strip easily, usually without tools, and is a simple way to take your safety routine to the next level.
If you worry that your young child may try to insert an object into your electrical outlet, look into getting a child tamper-resistant outlet to replace your existing outlet cover. This special tamper-resistant safety outlet cover looks like a regular outlet, but has a plastic barrier behind the face that stays closed when not in use. When a plug is inserted into the hole, the two prongs pushing on the holes cause the barrier to open. But if a child stuck a pencil or other item into just one hole, it would remain tightly closed.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|