21 Apr Electrical Safety for Kids: National Electrical Safety Month
How to Teach Your Kids About Electrical Safety in OKC
It’s May. The weather is warming up. The school year is ending. And kids are going to be home much longer than usual.
For a parent, it’s great to have your kids back for the summer. But this time can present some hazards for your little ones, and that is why electrical safety for kids is so important. May is also National Electrical Safety Month, so, we want to make sure you have the tools to teach the most vulnerable ones in your household about electrical safety. Here at Mister Sparky OKC, we understand how to operate and be near electrical outlets and breakers safely. But how about your kids? Unless they’re an electrician prodigy (in which case, we might have a job for them), they can easily correlate an exposed wire and a spaghetti noodle.
This electrical safety month, we’ve identified a few tips for parents to keep their children safe from electricity hazards this summer of 2022.
What is National Electrical Safety Month?
National Electrical Safety Month (NESM) aims to promote electrical safety rules in the home, school, and workplace. The goal of NESM is to educate individuals on electrical safety to help reduce fires, injuries, and fatalities. Mister Sparky OKC takes part in NESM by educating our customers on how to protect their families from electrical dangers best.
Why is electrical safety for kids important?
Electrical components pose serious risks that may be life-threatening. Electric shocks and arc flashes can cause serious bodily harm like burns, nerve damage, blindness, hearing loss, and in extreme cases, death. Understanding electrical safety for kids may save you or a loved one’s life.
TRAIN THEM! You don’t want your kids reaching into electrical sockets. But under supervision, let them roam around. If they drift near an electrical socket, particularly with their hand, sternly let them know it’s wrong and redirect them away. You may have to do this a few times to get the message across. EDUCATE THEM! If you have an older child, they’ll begin to understand the severity of electrical hazards. Educate them on how the components work and what can happen if improperly used or tampered with.
Teaching children to call 911 should an electrical emergency occur is also helpful. Should they be alone, or if the person with them becomes unconscious due to an electrical shock, they’ll need to know how to get help. Beyond electrical emergencies, knowing how to call 911 is a valuable skill for all kids to learn.
How To Childproof Your Home for Electrical Safety
Childproofing your home is an added step to ensuring your children’s safety around electrical components.
Plastic inserts are an effective way to enclose outlets. They can prevent children from putting their hands near the outlet or inserting foreign objects. While you should train your children to be wary of outlets, a plastic insert adds a layer of protection.
Pieces of furniture, like chairs and cabinets, are also great for covering up outlets that you never use.
Secure your Electrical Cords and Plugs!
Constantly pulling or prying at electrical cords can expose the metal insides, which may carry an electrical charge.
Secure your cords to the wall with tape to prevent your child from pulling on them.
Much like how you’d keep cleaning chemicals locked away under your sink, store electronic devices the same way.
Hairdryers and kitchen appliances should especially be out of reach for children.
How To Know If Your Home Is Electrically Safe
Mister Sparky is committed to keeping our customers safe and happy. Part of that is taking electrical safety measures when we visit your home, including:
- Examining your wiring – We’ll keep an eye out for frayed or exposed wires and see if nearby power lines are up to code.
- Upgrading your circuit box – An old circuit box is more susceptible to surges and outages.
- Examining all critical electrical components prone to failure – Have you ever noticed how your phone charger sometimes falls out of an outlet? This annoyance can be extremely dangerous to you. Your charger prongs can partially slide out of the socket and still be connected to the electrical substation power grid.
- Installing GFCIs
What is GFCI?
A GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter, is an outlet that quickly disperses an electrical current with leakage into the ground. In essence, it helps to protect you from electrical shock. GFCIs are primarily seen in bathrooms or kitchens where water is consistently present, but you can have them installed in all areas of your home.
13 Tips for Electrical Safety
Though it is used every day, electricity can be very hazardous if specific safety tips are not followed. In addition, children are naturally curious. For this reason, they should be taught about the basics of electricity and electrical hazards. Introduce safety tips for kids that will enable children to understand the dangers of careless handling of electricity at an early age. They should also know what to do and what not to do to avoid electricity-related accidents. Parents who want to protect their children from electrical dangers can educate them using the following electrical safety tips for children.
1. Never Poke Sharp and Metallic Objects into Electrical Outlets
Children and even adults use sharp and metallic objects like keys, spoons, nails, scissors, and such like objects when plugging in chargers on sockets or even electrical extension in most homes. This is very dangerous as it may lead to electrical shocks or even worse. Parents should warn their children against this risky behavior.
2. Teaching by Demonstration
The best way for parents to educate their children about electrical safety is by demonstrating the dangers of electricity. As the old cliché goes seeing is believing, children taught about electricity using demonstration tend to fear and be more careful when dealing with electricity.
Parents can take their children to museums with hands-on displays for children where they are made to understand science and nature. Simple displays create a small electrical charge by turning a handle, therefore, learning about electricity.
Static electricity is also another best way to demonstrate, where children are shown what happens when they rub surfaces together and then touch their hair. They will feel a tingle in their fingers, which will give them a sense of what electricity is.
3. Fly Kites Away from Power Lines
Warn them of flying kites and having Mylar or helium-filled balloons on strings near power lines. Electricity can travel through the string and cause a shock or fire if tangled on the power lines.
4. Water Makes Electricity more Dangerous
This is essential in ensuring kids’ electrical safety. Parents should teach their children that water and electricity are not good combinations that should never be mixed. When they are young, educate the children on not touching or operating any electricity-related devices with wet hands. They should also not use electrical appliances in wet areas like sinks and bathtubs. When cleaning such devices, they should plug them first from the sockets.
5. Keeping Away From Power Substations
Caution them to stay away from power stations no matter what. Parents should warn children not to climb fences or trees around power stations.
6. Power Lines Safety Tips
Educate children on the dangers of playing with power lines. If something sticks or gets tangled on power lines, they should not remove it; instead, they should call an adult like a parent. They should be cautioned against touching the lines with any part of their bodies or even throwing objects at them. Children should never fly remote-controlled models such as helicopters, drones, and airplanes near power lines; instead, they should fly in open fields.
7. Avoiding Contact with Electrical Wires and Lines
Children should be warned against trying to help those in contact with electrical wires. Suppose a pet, friend, or family member is in an accident involving electrical wires. In that case, they should call 911 or, better still, an adult. They should never touch fallen electrical wires or even climb utility poles.
8. Operating Electrical Appliances
Depending on their age, parents should encourage their children always to seek adult help when dealing with electrical appliances at home.
9. Over-crowding Electrical Outlets
Parents should educate children about the working of electrical outlets and extension cords and warn them against plugging too much stuff in one outlet. This may damage electricity or even cause a fire. Also, since most family members rely on electronic gadgets, there is a risk of overcrowding the electrical outlets, but this should not be allowed.
10. Never Leave Devices Plugged in at Night
All electronic devices should be plugged out when sleeping. Electronic appliances such as phones, laptops, and tablets should not be left plugged in or charging when sleeping.
11. Using Devices While Charging
Devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and others of this kind should not be used while plugged in or charging. Parents should teach their children always to ensure they use phones when they are plugged out.
12. Obedience to Warning Signs
13. Using Precautionary Measure
If they are very young, parents should undertake some measures to ensure electrical safety for children. For starters, putting child-proof covers on all electrical outlets and sockets. Children will always move around, touching everything they see and find on their way. Ignorantly, they may end up touching sockets, extensions, and other electrical outlets with wet hands, and this may be hazardous. Installation of child-proof covers will reduce this danger or risk.
Parents should also ensure all electrical appliances are kept out of children’s reach. Installation of residual current devices is yet another precautionary measure that will ensure electrical safety for kids by cutting the power when there is an emergency.
Ensuring electrical safety for kids at home is not an easy task for parents. Depending on the age of the children, parents should choose the most appropriate methods of keeping their children safe. This month, take some time to sit down with your kids and teach them how to be safe around electrical components. If you want an expert to see how your home stacks up against the latest safety guidelines, call Mister Sparky OKC today, and we’ll send a licensed professional in no time.
With this guide in mind, parents are one step ahead in ensuring the safety of their children. However, if parents feel like the house is still not safe for children even after all these precautions, teachings, and tips, they should hire an electrician.
Mister Sparky Electrician OKC, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves the Oklahoma City, OK area with a team of certified electricians in Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Yukon, and Del City. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, residential wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at (405) 735-9303 to schedule an appointment!