When you have small kids and pets in your home, you have to be more cautious with power outlets.
To prevent kids from pecking items into the power outlets, you have to find a method of covering them.
The material you use to cover power outlets should also be a consideration.
In this regard, Is It Safe To Cover An Electrical Outlet With Paper Or Duct Tape?
Well, safety may not be guaranteed by covering outlets with paper or duct tape. Even though duct tape doesn’t create a fire hazard, using it to cover outlets violates the electricity safety codes. You certainly won’t manage to remove the duct whenever you want to use the power outlet. Paper tape may also seem a good and simple way to cover the outlets, but it is not safe.
Literally, tape won’t stop a child from sticking things into the socket. If you use tape to cover outlets, remember to include a sticker that alerts people not to use that outlet. Otherwise, someone can just remove the tape and use the covered outlet, anyway.
If you plan to cover a few sockets in your home, you should first know why you want to cover them. Once you get straight answers, you will easily identify the best material to use.
Keep reading to understand more about correctly covering power outlets and the importance of doing so.
Eight Different Ways To Cover An Electrical Outlet
There are several simple options that are proven to work best in childproofing electric sockets and dealing with long cables.
Some options apply for longer cables, others are more useful on the electric outlet when in use, and other covers are best suited for unused sockets.
Knowing how long you want to cover an outlet will help you choose the right childproofing option.
1. Outlet Covers
Using outlet covers is a great way to protect your toddlers from the shock that may arise from playing with electricity.
They are nice childproofing items that a child may not easily identify, touch, or remove. These outlet covers are usually used outdoors to protect outlets from bad weather.
Outlet covers are relatively large and may not fit to be used indoors, especially if the space is constrained.
However, if you have enough space, you can use these covers to permanently block the already occupied outlet that you are not planning to unplug anytime soon.
Putting this cover on sockets where you have plugged in a washer, a fridge, a dryer, a television, or a desktop can also be a good idea.
2. Plastic Outlet Caps
Using plastic caps is the simplest and surest way to babyproof empty power outlets.
These caps are simply designed to cover the prolonged electricity outlets.
You will have to remove the caps every time you want to plug in a useful appliance and return the caps afterward.
Typically, these caps are the simplest and cheaper babyproofing options available in many stores.
However, if your child is above 3 years, you need to earn them from you hung the caps because they can easily pull them out.
If not, you have to buy a special cap with a unique locking mechanism, making it hard for babies to pull it out.
3. Sliding Outlet Covers
Sliding outlet covers are the best option for baby-proofing empty outlets.
They are literally safer than the caps due to the complexity of opening them.
The sliding outlet covers are basically simple plastic plate that slides back to cover outlets after they have been used.
This clever mechanism blocks the entry of any foreign material to the outlet, thus contributing greatly to the avoidance of fire hazards or shock.
Even though sliding outlet covers are slightly pricier, they are worth the extra dime.
They are also easy to install, and you don’t need to Pell them back to cover the openings once you have finished using them. They are suitable for outlets frequently used due to their automated sliding nature.
4. Use Cord Shorteners
A cord shortener is basically a small box, mostly made of plastic, that allows you to wrap any long cord inside carefully.
With this box, you can have your cord as small as you wish, thus limiting your child from accessing the cables.
These safety cord shorteners have an outlet cover and are simple to install, even with a first-time DIYer.
5. Outlet Shield
You can try using an outlet shield if you wish to hide a power outlet on a wall.
You don’t need any equipment to install the shield; it will fit correctly on top of the existing outlet.
You can as well paint the outlet shield so that it can match your wall color.
This way, your baby will not notice the cover and attempt to remove it.
However, you should ensure that the baby does not see you remove and return the shield because they will also learn to do the same.
These shoes can also work well for rarely used electric outlets.
6. Cord Covers
Cord covers can also be handy in childproofing outlets and cables.
These covers hide the long cables or wires that run from an outlet to a specific tool that needs power.
With these covers, you can confidently move a cable from the living room to a bedroom or the kitchen.
Use these cord covers to keep your floor and carpet free from long cords.
You can match them to your walls by painting or staining them with a similar color.
7. Power Strip Covers
In most homes, you will get some power strips. Most likely near the home theater system or computer area.
They are very functional in this area, allowing you to plug in several items.
If a toddler notices such an area in the house, it becomes their center of attraction.
For this reason, you have to protect that place to prevent your babies from pulling or inserting items in the outlets.
Using power strip covers can be a great way to childproof the many power strips in your home.
If you invest in a few power strip covers, you will not have to hide power strips behind furniture.
8. Tie The Long Cords
If you have long electric cords, you need to find a mechanism to keep them together to avoid accidents.
The simplest way to deal with long cords is by wrapping and tying them with a zip, pins, or tape. A toddler may not easily get the short cords as it would have been with longer ones.
Rubber bands can also do better in keeping long cords short.
Typically, rubber bands are easily available compared to cable zippers, which you may fail to get in some nearby stores.
The above tips can be helpful to you as you try to ensure your child and pets are safe from electrical shock.
Covering power outlets prevents your children from inserting sticks and other items in the openings.
Apart from childproofing, you may want to cover your faulty outlets or those rarely used.
For instance, most homeowners prefer covering outdoor electrical outlets to protect them from bad weather and the elements.
When you go out to buy electric outlet covers, it is important to check the size and number of the outlets you want to cover.
Shopping around will also help you land a better cover at a good price. Select a cover that is easy to install and make it unnoticeable for small children.
While it is important to childproof electrical outlets, you should not cover them with just any material.
Ensure the material cannot be easily removed by your toddlers or pets and is within the set regulations.
Avoid covering electrical outlets with paper or duct tape; instead, consider using one of the many options outlined in this post.