Logo - Mj Electrical

5 Best Ideas for Child-Proofing Power Outlets in Ballarat

5 Best Ideas for Child-Proofing Power Outlets in Ballarat

Share This Post

In Australia, and right here in our own backyard of Ballarat, keeping power outlets child-friendly is more than just a good parenting hack; it’s a community effort. 

Did you know that across Australia, every year, approximately 100 children under 15 years of age find themselves in emergency rooms with at least 1 dying as a result of electricity-related injuries?

These range from those ouchie minor shocks to more serious injuries. 

As your local Ballarat electrician, we have some cool rules in place to make our electrical outlets as kid-friendly as possible. This means there are certain safety standards to follow if you’re building a new home or renovating an old one. Take, for instance, the Australian Standard AS/NZS 3112. It’s a fancy way of saying all our power outlets need to have special shutters on the sockets to stop curious little fingers (or toys) from poking in. 

It’s just one of the many smart ways we’re working to keep our munchkins safe from electrical dangers.

So, let’s dive into the top ideas for child-proofing those pesky power points in Ballarat and make our homes the safest play zone for our kids!

Installing Outlet Covers

Installing Outlet Covers

This is a simple yet effective way to keep your tiny tots safe. In Ballarat, you’re spoiled for choice with a variety of outlet covers. Let’s explore some popular types:

Plastic Plugs: These are the classic ones. They plug into the outlet like any appliance and keep those curious fingers out. They’re great for any home and super easy to use.

Sliding Plate Covers: A bit more advanced, these covers automatically slide into place to cover the outlet as soon as you unplug a device. Perfect for homes where outlets are in frequent use.

Box Covers: Ideal for outdoor or high-power outlets, these sturdy covers encase the entire outlet and are often lockable for added safety.

Oversized Plate Covers: These are designed for outlets that are unusually large or for homes with multiple outlets close together. They cover a larger area and are great for keeping multiple outlets safe at once.

Choosing the Right One for Your Home:

With so many options, how do you pick the right one? Here are some factors to consider:

  • Child’s Age: For toddlers, simple plastic plugs may work, but as they grow and become more curious, sliding plate covers or box covers might be better.
  • Type of Outlet: Standard outlets are well-served by most cover types, but for special outlets like power strips or outdoor outlets, look for specific designs like box covers.
  • Usage Frequency: If you plug and unplug devices often, sliding plate covers are very convenient. For seldom-used outlets, plastic plugs or oversized plates are fine.

Installing most outlet covers is a breeze. For the more complex types like sliding plates or box covers, you might need a screwdriver and a bit of DIY spirit. If you are still unsure, you can always call your local electricians to lend you a helping hand. 

Installing Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

Installing Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

These are like the superheroes of electrical outlets. TRRs have a special shutter system inside that only opens when you plug in a device correctly. This means no little fingers or toys can sneak their way in – pretty neat, right?

Why We Love TRRs More Than Traditional Outlets:

Super Safe: The shutter mechanism gives an extra layer of protection keeping your little ones safe from electrical mishaps.

No Extra Fuss: TRRs look just like your regular outlets. No need for extra covers or gadgets, keeping your home looking neat and tidy.

Up-to-date: Many new homes are fitted with TRRs because they’re the latest in safety standards. 

Installing these can be a bit tricky since it involves fiddling with wires. It’s best to call in your local Ballarat electrician for this.

Rearrange Furniture to Block Access

A clever and cost-effective way to child-proof your power outlets is simply by rearranging your furniture. This way you are using what you already have to create a safe space for your little adventurers.

Covering Outlets: The idea is to place furniture items like sofas, dressers, or bookcases in front of power outlets. This way, you’re effectively blocking access to the outlets, making it harder for curious little hands to reach them.

Creating Safe Play Areas: By strategically placing furniture, you can also define safe play zones away from electrical hazards, giving your kids a secure area to explore and play.

Tips for Effective Furniture Rearrangement:

Safety First: Ensure the furniture itself is secure and won’t tip over – especially important with bookcases or dressers. Consider anchoring them to the wall for extra safety.

Accessibility for Adults: While you’re blocking access for kids, make sure the outlets are still accessible for your use. A balance between safety and practicality is key.

Aesthetic Balance: Think about how the rearrangement will affect the overall look and functionality of your room. It’s about making your space both safe and comfortable.

We love this method as it’s not just cost-effective but also flexible since you can easily change the setting of your living space as your child grows. 

Remember, it’s best to use this method in combination with other safety methods like outlet covers or TRRs. 

Secure Loose Cords and Ensure Cable Management

Getting those loose cords and cables under control not only keeps your space tidy; it creates a safer environment for your curious little ones.

Reduces Tripping Hazards: Loose cords are trip-and-fall risks, especially when kids are running around.

Prevents Tugging and Pulling: Kids love to pull on things, and dangling cords can lead to accidents or damage to your appliances.

Discourages Chewing: Young children might chew on accessible cords, which is a serious safety concern.

Tips for Effective Cable Management:

Use Cord Clips and Ties: These handy tools help bundle and secure cables neatly along walls or furniture.

Cable Boxes: A fantastic solution for hiding power strips and excess cords, keeping them out of sight and reach.

Cord Concealers: These can be used to run cords along walls or under carpets safely and discreetly.

Regular Checks: Make it a habit to periodically check for frayed or damaged cords, replacing them as necessary.

Just like before, this approach is not just budget-friendly but also improves the look of your home and provides a lasting solution to keep your home safe as your kids grow.

Education and Supervision

Education and Supervision

Perhaps the most crucial child-proofing strategy is educating our kids about electrical safety and the importance of attentive supervision to keep themselves safe.

Understanding Over Fear: We want our children to respect, not fear, electricity. Knowledge empowers them to make safe choices.

Building Good Habits: Early education about electrical safety helps instill lifelong safe practices.

Preparation for Unforeseen Situations: If kids know what’s dangerous, they’re better equipped to avoid harm when encountering unsupervised electrical sources.

Tips for Teaching Kids About Electrical Safety:

Start Simple: Use age-appropriate language to explain why electricity is dangerous. 

Demonstrate Safe Use: Show them how to safely plug in and unplug appliances. Lead by example.

Create Rules and Repeat: Set clear rules about electricity (like not touching outlets with wet hands) and repeat them often. Consistency is key.

Interactive Learning: Turn the learning process into a game or an interactive activity. Kids learn best when they’re having fun.

As an adult, you need to always be alert, make regular safety checks, and encourage safe exploration. 

Wrapping up

We’ve journeyed through some smart and effective ways to child-proof our homes, focusing on those intriguing yet hazardous power outlets.

The steps we’ve discussed go a long way in preventing accidental shocks, burns, or more serious injuries. Remember, the goal isn’t to create a home filled with fear of what might happen, but a secure space where our kids can explore and grow safely.

Take a moment to look around your home. Are your power outlets child-proof? Could your cable management use some tidying up? How about planning a family day for a safety audit of your home?

And while you are at it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local electrician to child-proof your home. Call us today to get a quote. 

Subscribe To Our MJE Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore...