Electrical Safety for Homes With Pets and Kids
When it comes to the many different elements helping your home run, electricity is likely the one many people find the scariest. And for good reason — electrical issues can cause injuries and even fires.
With the risks being so high, it’s crucial to have safety top of mind when operating electricity at home. And safety is even more important when you have pets and children, who may not be privy to electrical safety standards.
Here’s how to adjust your home and your habits to protect your house and your family.
Watch What’s Accessible
The first step in ensuring your loved ones stay safe is to watch what they have access to in their daily lives. Children love to explore and find new things to experience, so if something is out, they will find it. The same goes for pets, who may be scrounging for food or just something new to play with.
Keep wires hidden as best as possible. Pets love to chew on wires (not sure why the taste is appealing), and children are likely to trip over them if they’re out. You can use a variety of safe hiding techniques that will keep wires out of plain sight. Plastic tubing can gather wires and protect them at the same time.
While you can’t control where outlets are placed, be sure not to overload them with plugs, as this is a surefire attraction for kids and pets looking for something unique to explore. You can use box covers to hide outlets while still keeping them accessible for adults.
Keep Up With Safety Apparatus
The best way to keep your entire family safe is to make sure your electrical system is equipped with the right safety features and is always serviced by a licensed technician.
Ensure your home is equipped with GFCI outlets in areas exposed to dampness (bathroom, kitchen, and exterior). GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupters, help to reduce the risk of electrical shock, and are mandated in new living spaces. But older homes may not have switched over yet. If you don’t know if you have them or not, take a look at your outlets. If they have two buttons labeled TEST and RESET in between the sockets, you have a GFCI.
You can also install a whole-home surge protector for added safety. This device protects your outlets and your appliances from electrical surges, whether caused by a thunderstorm or fault in the electrical grid.
Make sure all your smoke alarms are working properly by testing them regularly and changing the battery every 6 months. Smoke alarms should be located on every floor and outside every bedroom space. A carbon monoxide detector should also be installed on every floor and tested regularly.
An electrical safety inspection performed by a professional electrician will help identify opportunities for improvement to keep your family safe. This is recommended especially if you move into a new home or make major renovations.
Have an Emergency Plan
Despite your best efforts, accidents and unexpected events happen, and your best safeguard is to be prepared. Come up with a family emergency plan that dictates what everyone will do in the event of a fire or similar emergency. Practice the plan and be open about lines of communication during an emergency. Children and pets require special attention during emergencies, so make sure to keep them top of mind when coming up with a plan.
Your Home Electrical Resource
HedgeHog Electric is the premier electrical provider in southern Utah. Contact us today at 877-673-9751 for an electrical safety inspection or service upgrade.