Every parent knows how inquisitive children can be. You only have to turn around for a second and they’ll have wreaked domestic havoc as they continue to explore their new world. Things like plug sockets, wires and appliances are an unending source of fascination for little ones, so it’s important you take measures to protect adventurous children from shocks and burns around the house.
The good news is that plug sockets actually represent very little risk to children – they’re designed so that it’s almost impossible to for your child to stick their fingers in, no matter how small they might be! That said, it’s important to teach them from an early age that plug sockets are not to be fiddled with, and installing socket blanking plugs can be a good way to deter this.
A study from the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) found that electrical safety is a huge concern for parents (and rightly so!), with 62% of new parents using socket covers in their home. However, socket covers won’t prevent an electric shock if the installation isn’t safe. An RCD (residual current device) in the fusebox will prevent fatal electric shocks and reduce the risk of electrical fires, although only 38% of new parents’ homes have one! A plug-in RCD can cost as little as £10, but a fixed one will provide greater protection.
The easiest way to discourage children from ‘investigating’ wires and sockets is to position furniture in such a way that they can’t get to them in the first place, although this isn’t always feasible. Electrical outlet covers that sit on top of your existing outlet are easy for an adult to remove but will stop little hands from pulling plugs out of the wall. Make sure wires are tacked securely against skirting boards or door frames (which will prevent trip hazards as well as curious chewing), and use power bars instead of blocks if you need more outlets. Power bars put less strain on a socket than a block, which are more likely to cause electrical fires.
Switch off appliances when they’re not in use and keep cords out of reach. It’s easy to leave some appliance cords plugged in and unconnected, such as mobile phone chargers and laptop battery cables, but younger children might be tempted to put the end of the cord in their mouths. Remember, as children get older they become fascinated with the things that mum and dad do every day, such as straightening their hair or making a cup of tea, so keep heated appliances out of sight as well.
Water and electricity can be a deadly combination, so make sure your kids are dried off thoroughly after a bath, shower or splash in the paddling pool before they go anywhere near electrical devices such as games consoles or DVD players. Keep drinks away from appliances, too – an accidental juice spill could easily result in a frazzled TV, or worse, a serious injury.
Electrical safety is important outside, too, even though there aren’t any plug sockets around. Lawnmowers and hedge cutters can cut through their own electrical cables, causing a risk of electric shock, so be vigilant when you’re gardening. If you’re in close proximity to power lines or electric poles teach your children to stay away from them, and that if their toy plane or kite gets tangled in a power line they should never, ever try to retrieve it themselves.
Babies and very young children aren’t particularly receptive to messages about danger, but as your child gets older they can start to learn about electrical safety. Teach them about the dangers of electricity and risk hotspots around the home, and as they get older, supervise them while they practice using appliances themselves – ask them to make toast or a cup of tea, for example. And keep on reinforcing good electrical safety habits!
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OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.