It’s not until you have a child when you realize just how many ordinary things around the home can be potentially hazardous. And electrical outlets are near the top of the list. Sticking our fingers or toys into them don’t even cross our minds, but for a child, the curiosity of doing so is a risk we can’t ignore. We rely on a growing number of electrical devices and appliances in our everyday lives. If you look around, you’ll spot outlets on almost every wall in every room of your home. That’s a lot of outlets to secure! The good news is that there are some simple and inexpensive ways to childproof the outlets in your home. Here’s everything you need to know about childproofing outlets, and how to choose the best option for your home.
How Should You Childproof the Outlets in Your South Florida home?
There are a few ways you can childproof the electrical outlets in your home without making them difficult for you to access.
Two of the most popular solutions are:
Fitting Electrical Outlet Caps
This is the go-to method of childproofing electrical outlets as it’s the least expensive and most straightforward option, and is perfectly safe. Which pretty much makes it the best choice in most cases.
Electrical caps come in various shapes, colors, and designs, but basically, an electrical outlet cap is a piece of plastic that plugs into the outlet just as a plug does so a child can’t poke anything into the outlet.
They need to fit nice and snug, so they are too difficult for a child to remove – which means they are also difficult for adults. This makes it a little annoying if you need to use your outlets often, as they can be tricky to remove in a hurry.
But the inconvenience is worth it to know you’ve made the outlets safe. You can pick up a pack and walk around popping them in all the outlets in your home in a matter of minutes.
Fitting Box Outlet Covers
Box outlet covers are another way to childproof your outlets. There are various types on the market and some work in slightly different ways, but the end result is the same. You’re fitting a cover over your outlets, so little ones can’t poke or play with them.
Most covers fit over the top of your outlets and have some kind of sliding mechanism so you can reveal the sockets when you want to use them. The cover will then slide back in place when you remove the plug.
What stops a child sliding the cover is that there will usually be a little hook or clip to keep it closed. Or, it will just be too stiff for a child to slide on his or her own.
There is more work involved to fit these types of covers over just popping the caps in as covered above. But if you use your outlets often, it’s a much more convenient solution.
What Type of Childproof Outlet is Best For Your Home?
When deciding which type of childproof outlet cover is best for your home, there are two primary considerations to take into account:
- How often do you need to use the outlets?
- What style or look do you prefer?
For example, if you need to use the outlets several times a day, you’ll find a sliding box outlet cover a lot more convenient than prying out electrical caps.
It becomes all too tempting to leave a cap out of the outlet if you’re going to be plugging and unplugging appliances. That just defeats the purpose of securing them from children.
The downside with a box cover is that some people do not like the look of them. They are a lot bulkier than the little electrical caps, and they also cost more and require more effort to fit.
So, you can see how it comes down to a balance between convenience and preference when choosing between the two.
The main issue with electrical caps is that they are difficult to remove in a hurry, sometimes needing a small tool to pry them out. It’s also easy to forget to place them back in after using the outlet or misplace them, which is something that just can’t happen with a box.
It’s really a matter of looking at both options and deciding which you’d prefer in your home. If budget is a priority, however, then it’s going to be the caps.
The critical thing to remember is that whichever you choose, both outlet caps and boxes are equally safe ways to childproof your outlets when used correctly. For more information on electrical repairs and our services, reach out to SunCoast 24/7 Emergency Service today.