Are Childproof Outlets Actually Safe?

Posted On: February 27, 2017

If you have children, then childproofing your home is most likely a big priority for you. And if it’s not – it certainly should be! One of the main areas of focus when it comes childproofing your home should be your outlets.

Electrical outlets can be very dangerous to children of all ages because of their close location to the floor, making them particularly easy for toddlers and young children to access. If they attempt to put something in the outlet, such as a coin or a metal fork, it could cause a potentially fatal electric shock. To prevent this from happening, many parents use childproof outlets.

But, are childproof outlets actually safe? It’s a common question our electricians hear from new parents.

Childproof Electrical Outlets

The outlets you’re not using are the outlets that you’ll need to worry about. There are a number of different childproof outlet products that you can use, but some are more effective than others. The following are just a few of the outlet covers that you can use to childproof your outlets and whether or not they are effective:

Outlet Plugs

Outlet plugs are the most basic outlet childproofing products available. They’re plastic covers that plug directly into your outlet. These are effective because they are very difficult for smaller children, especially toddlers, to remove or “unplug” from the outlet itself.

However, they can also be somewhat difficult for adults to remove as well, making them a bit inconvenient. Not to mention that if a child does manage to unplug it, the plug itself becomes a major choking hazard.

Outlet plugs are an affordable solution to childproofing the unused outlets in your home and can bought in hardware stores or online.

Swivel Outlet Covers

These covers are much more intuitive than basic outlet plugs. The cover is attached over the outlet. You won’t be able to plug anything in through the cover unless you place the prongs in the right spot and then turn the swiveling part of the cover, which will line up the covers holes with that of the outlet’s. Not only does this cover not obstruct your ability to plug something in, but it prevents children from pushing things that don’t belong in there.

The problem with these types of outlet covers is that they can sometimes prevent the plugs from fully engaging with the outlet. This can lead to sparks and overheating.

Sliding Door Outlet Covers

Similar to swivel outlet covers, sliding door outlet covers allow you to simply slide the cover from one side to another, exposing the outlet before plugging in your device. Some people find these to be much easier to use then swiveling covers, however, they can present the same overheating and sparking risk.

Sparking and overheating can be avoided by making sure that you invest in high quality sliding or swiveling outlet covers – cheaply made covers are more likely to pose this risk.

Are Childproof Outlets Actually Necessary?

Childproof outlets act as a barrier between your children and injury from electrical shock. If you have children in your home, then childproofing your electrical outlets should be one of your main priorities.

Outlet Installation in Maryland

If you need outlet installation services in Maryland than there’s only one electrician you need to call—Jaffe Electric! Our licensed electricians can install your new outlet in less than a day! The outlet will be sure to be code compliant, properly tied to your circuit panel, and won’t overload the circuit we add it to for enhanced safety.

Call Jaffe Electric at 301.253.3778 or request service online!

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