As a parent or guardian, it's important to prioritize electrical safety in your home, especially when you have young children. Electricity can be dangerous if not handled properly, and children aren’t always aware of the dangers behind an innocent looking cord or outlet.
To help you and your little ones steer clear of electrical hazards, we’ve gathered seven tips to implement in your household.
1. Keep electrical outlets covered
Children are curious by nature and tend to explore everything around them. As a result, they may try to stick their fingers or other objects into electrical outlets. To prevent this from happening, install outlet covers or safety plugs. Since the adoption of the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code, receptacles (plug in outlets) are required to be tamper resistant. This eliminates the need for outlet covers. Unsure about your outlets? Tamper resistant receptacles are marked “TR”.
2. Teach your kids about electricity
Talk to your children about electricity and teach them about the potential dangers associated with it. Explain how electricity works and the importance of being cautious around electrical appliances and devices.
If your kids are a little older, teach them about electrical certification marks. Electrical appliances that are approved for use in Canada will have a mark of approval from a Canadian certification agency such as CSA, CUL, or ETL. This certification should be located both on the outside of the package and stamped somewhere on the appliance. Often less expensive products from Amazon or the dollar store are missing this approval, meaning they are not permitted for use in Canada. Review the list of approved electrical marks.
Water and electricity don't mix. Keep electrical appliances away from water sources, including bathtubs, sinks, and swimming pools. Additionally, make sure your children are not using any electrical devices or appliances with wet hands.4. Supervise your children around electrical appliances
Make sure to supervise your kids when they are using electrical appliances, including hair dryers, curling irons, and other personal care items. It's important to teach them how to use these devices safely and to ensure they are using them correctly.5. Use extension cords safely
If you must use extension cords, make sure they are not overloaded and are used in a safe manner. Avoid running cords under carpets or furniture, and make sure they are not twisted or frayed. Additionally, teach your children not to play with cords or pull them out of outlets.6. Install Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets
GFCI outlets detect when an electrical current to ground exceeds certain values and quickly shut off power to prevent electrical shock. Installing these outlets in areas where your kids spend a lot of time can help keep them safe. It is also a good idea to install GFCIs in areas where water is present, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor areas.7. Teach your children to report electrical hazards
Encourage your children to tell an adult about any electrical hazards they notice around the house, including frayed cords, outlets that are not working correctly, and appliances that are malfunctioning. If you are looking to perform an electrical safety audit in your home, use our checklist as a guide.
Electrical safety is crucial for keeping your home safe. By following these tips, you can help prevent accidents and protect your children from electrical hazards.
Have furry friends living in your home? Make sure to read our electrical safety tips for keeping your pets safe.