June 26, 2019

How Do You Child-Proof An Electrical Socket?

Author:  Kirk Lam

An Australian mum took to Facebook recently to warn others that a safety measure she’d taken to protect her child from electrical shocks had almost caused a fire in her home.

The horrified parent shared the news that she’d arrived home to the smell of burning.

She eventually tracked down the source to a plastic cover she’d put on a power socket to protect her 10-month son from electric shock.

The covered socket next to her baby’s crib was blackened and burning due to a wiring problem in the house.

The plastic on this outlet cover had burned and had become a major safety hazard.

Fortunately, it was discovered early before it could develop into a major incident that could have endangered her home or her family’s lives.

How Do You Child-Proof An Electrical Socket?

Safety covers

Plastic socket covers are commonly used as a safety device to prevent small children unwittingly sticking their fingers into a power source.

The covers are not an issue themselves but can become dangerous in a home with faulty wiring, a common problem in Australian homes, although one that the residents may be completely unaware of.

If your electric wiring has been badly installed, or is old or overloaded, it can overheat and anything inserted into the socket such as a plastic socket cover, can become dangerously hot and a fire hazard.

For peace of mind, parents should consider a more reassuring alternative to keep their children safe around electricity.

In bedrooms and other areas where children play, installing shutter power points are the safest option. These outlets are inactive until an appliance is plugged in. When not in use they are protected by a plastic shield from inquisitive fingers.

Check your wiring

It is worth the callout cost of having an electrician check that your home’s wiring is safe.

This is crucially important if you live in an old house that may pre-date current safety regulations.

Older properties were not designed for the demands of 21st Century home life with televisions, computers, freezers and air-conditioning all putting strain on the circuits.

If you have a new home, check that there is an earth leakage circuit breaker which will cut the power supply to your house should an electrical fault occur. These are compulsory in all new homes in Australia, but many older houses will not have them as standard.

These prevent and protect against accidental electrocution where connected equipment may be faulty, cords frayed or wiring insulation compromised. Speak to your electrician about installation if you need one.

Remember smoke alarm safety

Finally, just to be safe, make sure that you have smoke alarms installed throughout the house, including the bedrooms. Put a note in your diary to replace the batteries at the same time each year – they are no use of they don’t go off.

Here at PWA Electrical Services, we can help with all your electrical requirements.

All of our electricians in Perth are fully qualified and insured for peace of mind.

With over 30 years’ experience, we can assure you that you’ll be getting the best service at affordable prices. We cover Perth city and the surrounding areas, so contact us today.