Protect Your Kids With Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Kids love to explore. This is how they learn about the world around them. As a child grows, parents find they have many worries. Electrical outlets are a good example of standard household items that can be harmful to children. MZ Electric understands this, as we have parents on staff. We work with families to protect young children from electrical shock and more.

We want our kids to be curious, but we also want them to be safe. Electric shock remains a real concern with young children. They see their moms and dads plugging devices into electrical outlets to make the devices work. They wonder what will happen if they put something into this outlet. We understand how fascinating electricity is and can’t blame them for wanting to learn more.

The Dangers of Electricity

However, when a young child puts something in an electrical outlet that does not belong there, an electrical current may pass through their body. If the electrical current isn’t very strong, the child may not learn from the experience. They may notice something that feels different but won’t attribute it to the fact they put something in an electrical socket they shouldn’t. This is where the danger comes in and why you need our help.

If the child attempts to put something else in the electrical socket, they could suffer a burn or injuries that come with long-term effects. The child may quit breathing, have a seizure, or go into cardiac arrest. We don’t want to see this happen, which is why we offer parents the option of installing temper-resistant receptacles.

How Common is This Problem?

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, thousands of children each year suffer electrical burns or shocks. They sustain these injuries after placing a metal object into an electrical outlet. This may be a paperclip they found on the floor, dad’s keys they reached up and pulled off the counter, or a pin they took from mom’s sewing kit when she turned her head for a second. Sadly, multiple children die each year from injuries sustained after sticking an inappropriate item in an electrical outlet.

We do not want to see a single child injured in this way. To help parents protect their young children, we offer tamper-resistant receptacles. How can these receptacles keep children safe without serving as a major hassle for the parents?

How Our Tamper-Resistant Receptacles Work

People often see our tamper-resistant receptacles and wonder how they work. At first glance, they look like any other receptacle in a home. However, the receptacles we install have spring-loaded shutter plates. These plates block the opening of the socket. Equal pressure must be applied with a plug to open the plate. When you apply this pressure, the plug enters the socket.

Children poke and prod at an outlet. They don’t understand how to apply the right amount of pressure to get the receptacle to open. In addition, they won’t apply this pressure to both openings in the outlet at the same time. The shuttered plates won’t open unless they do, so they cannot stick anything into the outlet. This device protects them from electrical injuries, which is why we recommend them to all parents when we visit homes.

Why Choose This Option?

You may ask why this option should be selected over other devices available to block outlets from small hands. Receptacle caps are one item many parents use for this purpose. However, they are inconvenient. They often get lost and must be replaced, and children might figure out a way to remove them from outlets. If they are removed, they become a choking hazard. Our tamper-resistant receptacles don’t come with these issues.

Sliding receptacle covers are another item often found in homes we visit. We watch people try to insert a plug with only one hand, so they can operate the cover with the other. If this isn’t frustrating enough, children model what they learn. Before a parent knows it, the child will be sliding the cover to insert an object. When we install tamper-resistant receptacles, the child finds it extremely difficult to access the outlet, even when they mimic the actions of the parent. The need for equal pressure on both openings confounds them. 

Retrofitting the Home

In 2008, the National Electrical Code was updated to mandate tamper-resistant receptacles in new homes and apartment buildings. Individuals who own a home built prior to that update have the option of retrofitting the home with these receptacles. This is one job we love to take on because we want to keep your family safe. The cost of tamper-resistant receptacles is negligible when you think about how it increases the safety of your loved one. 

This is only one of several ways we can help keep you and your loved ones safe. Ask about our whole-house surge protectors, smoke detector installation, electric panel upgrades, and more. 

We strive to be the only company you call when you need electrical work done and continue to expand our services to ensure this is the case. Call to set up an appointment now.