Protect Your Child From Electrical Dangers with TRRs
About 65 children are treated every day for shocks and burns due to electrical outlet-related injuries (24,000 a year)!* Children are naturally curious and that’s great for their development, except when that curiosity finds its way into a dangerous situation. One of the biggest concerns as a parent is protecting your child from harm, and a great way to ease the worry is by childproofing the electrical equipment in your home. If you think that those plastic outlet covers are a proper safeguard against accidental electrocution, you could be gravely mistaken. Keep reading to learn about Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs).
Since updating its standards in 2008, the National Electrical Code now requires Tamper Resistant Receptacles in all new homes and renovations (esfi.org). This is because the old methods of childproofing electrical outlets were found insufficient. Outlet covers can easily be removed by children over the age of 2, have to be remembered to put in, and have a higher risk of overheating. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 100% of all 2-4 year olds were able to remove one type of plastic outlet cap within 10 seconds.*
Unfortunately, most homes were built before 2008 and don’t have TRRs built-in. If you have an older home and a young child, call your electrician to help babyproof your home and receptacles. You may also want to inspect other aspects of your home for electrical hazards. Read “Know the Dangers in Your Older Home” by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) before you call your electrician so that you can address all of your electrical safety concerns at once.
Tips for Protecting Children Against Electrical Shock
- Schedule a professional electrical safety inspection every year to keep your home up-to-code and safe from fire and electrocution hazards.
- Make sure your electrical outlets are safe. If they smell, show discoloring, are warm to the touch, or spark, have a professional electrician check it out immediately.
- If you don’t have Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs), outlet covers are better than nothing, but keep in mind that they can easily be removed by children over 2 years old. There are also safety covers for power strips, such as the Kidco Outlet Plug Cover ($8.31 on Amazon.com). Another tactic to safeguarding your outlets is to rearrange furniture so that babies and children cannot access them.
- Place electrical devices such as DVD players on a shelf and out of reach of small children. Make sure your TV, shelves, and other components are securely fastened to the wall.
- Organize your cords, using something like the Monster CITMBK-8 Medium Diameter Black Cable-It Wire Management System (8 feet) ($20.68 on Amazon).
- Bathroom and kitchen appliances such as hair dryers or toasters should be kept high up and out of reach.
Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs)
Outlet covers are out. Tamper Resistant Receptacles are in! Since they have built-in protection, there is no need to remember anything after they are installed. With a simple shutter design, foreign objects get blocked before they can cause an electrical shock.
Electrical plugs act as the “key” to open the receptacle. In order to open the shutter located within the receptacle, both prongs of the plug must be even and equal pressure should be applied. Usually, straightening out the plug will fix any issues getting the outlet to open. Hairpins, forks, or anything else that isn’t a plug can no longer cause harm, giving you valuable peace of mind.
Information from the Electrical Safety Foundation International:
- Certified by independent Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories
- Installing a TRR in your home costs only slightly more than a traditional receptacle does.
- Complies with the most recent version of the National Electrical Code
- TRRs are available with GFCI and AFCI protection
- Regular receptacles can easily be replaced with a TRR by a qualified electrician with no additional modifications
Call the expert electricians at Gold Medal Service for more information about Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs) and their ability to protect your children and family from electrical shocks.
To help keep you safe and save you money, Gold Medal's Total Care Club ensures that your electrical system is completely safe and up-to-date.
If you have children at home or expecting one soon, call a licensed Gold Medal technician at (732) 365-3199. Our trusted technicians are available to answer any questions you may have. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with any problem you have (electrical, plumbing, waterproofing, HVAC, and more)