Electrical Outlet Safety Cover

An electrical outlet safety cover is a potentially life saving device that will help in the quest to baby proof outlets throughout your home.  Electricity is all around us and we often take it for granted including the dangers that it presents to our loved ones.  In a baby's world where everything is fun and games it is the parents responsibility to do everything we can to keep them safe.  

Every year there are thousands of children that are injured by electricity in the home.  These injuries range from mild burns and electric shock to severe burns and electrocution caused by items inserted into an electric receptacle found in outlets.  An average of 7 children are treated every day in hospitals in the United States for burn or electrical shock injuries caused by tampering with electrical outlets - Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)

Although there is no substitute for adult supervision it is nearly impossible to watch your baby all the time.  Since power outlets are everywhere in the home it becomes a necessity to baby proof them, and the good thing is that it's really easy and affordable to do.  An electrical outlet safety cover used on every outlet in your home will help prevent these accidents and provide valuable peace of mind!

The good news is there are several different options available to parents today.  We'll start by going over some things you need to know followed by our recommendations based on performance, reliability and feedback from parents like you. 

Tamper Resistant Receptacles

If your home was built after 2009 there is a chance that you have tamper resistant receptacles or TRR's already installed and you won't need to baby proof them.  These handy and safe alternatives to the older receptacles are now required by law in both the USA and Canada.  This is great news if you own a home built after 2009 but if your home is older you probably don't have this type of outlet.  

The spring loaded insert found in a TRR prevents single sharp objects from being inserted and requires simultaneous pressure in both slots to open.  This helps prevent babies or children from inserting objects like: pins, keys, nails or paperclips. 

All approved receptacles will have "TR" stamped on them and is often visible between the two vertical inserts.  You will also notice what appears to be plastic in the slots which is the mechanism that prevents objects from being inserted. 

If you have the older, standard receptacles in your home you should consider the different options available for baby proofing your electrical outlets.  There are numerous electrical outlet safety cover options and we'll go over them all so you find something that works for you and your home. 

Electrical Outlet Safety Cover Options

There are 4 basic options for baby proofing electrical outlets in the home.  Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages as well as ranging slightly in price.  In some households you might want to consider using a variety of devices, depending on your electrical setup. 

We'll start with the most basic electrical outlet safety cover and work our way to more complex options that we feel are the best in the industry.  In the world of baby home safety these devices are really simple to use and are worth every penny.  

  1. Outlet Plugs
  2. Self Closing Outlet Covers
  3. Plug and Outlet Covers
  4. Power Strip Covers

1.  Outlet Plugs

Outlet plugs or plug covers are the easiest way to baby proof your electrical outlets and work on just about any style of plug in.  These plastic devices are incredibly cheap and get the job done when the outlet isn't being used for long periods of time.

The downside of this style of electrical outlet safety cover is they need to be removed when the outlet is being used.  Although they aren't small enough to be a choking hazard for your baby they can be a nuisance to have lying around, and hard to see.  It's a good idea is to keep them stored in a drawer or somewhere near the outlet so they can be inserted again when the outlet isn't being used. 

Take time to get a count of the outlets in your home so you can be sure you have enough for all of your outlets.  The average home will require anywhere between 25 and 50 outlet plugs but it will depend on the size of your home and amount of outlets being used. 

Mommy's Helper Outlet Plugs

Mommy's Helper Outlet Plugs are the industry leader and work by firmly pressing them into any unused outlet.  They fit snuggly against the face plate so your baby won't be able to remove them.  They can be a bit tricky for parents to remove and may require something flat and plastic to pry them off. 

They are sold in packs of 36, 72, 108, 130 and 144 so you can be sure you have enough for every outlet in your home. 

2.  Self Closing Outlet Covers

Self closing outlet covers are an invention that have been around for a few years.  They can also be referred to as sliding outlet covers because of the way they automatically slide to cover the receptacle underneath.  This function prevents anything from getting stuck in there by a curious baby or child. 

An important thing to keep in mind with self closing electrical covers is the style of receptacle they are designed for.  

The most common Standard style requires a face plate that attaches with one screw but you may also have a Decora style that requires two screws or Universal that gives you the option.  

After you remove the old cover plate, the self closing cover is installed by screwing it on with a slightly longer screw that is usually provided with the product.  Ensure that the screws are snug but not over-tightened so that you don't crack the plate.

When you want to use the outlet you place the electrical plug in the holes and gently slide it over until you can insert the plug all the way.  The advantage of this type of electrical outlet safety cover is when you are finished with the plug, the cover automatically slides back to provide protection again. 

Mommy's Helper Self Closing Outlet Covers

The Mommy's Helper Self Closing & Sliding Outlet Cover is our top choice.  It is available in both standard and decora styles.  It comes with a screw for easy installation and the back is equipped with a thermoseal gasket to prevent unwanted drafts.  

They are easy to use for adults and close automatically when the outlet is not in use.  Available in both white and almond colour to suit your preference and packs range from 1-25 count.

3.  Plug and Outlet Cover

If you are worried about your baby or child pulling the cord out of the electrical socket this handy device is the solution you are looking for.  This plug and outlet cover combination cover is a relatively new safety device that has a few benefits that other products don't have.

The main benefit is that it will keep your children from accessing the outlet entirely.  If you have both outlets in use with things like a television, lamp or phone dock you probably don't want your child removing them at any time.  In addition to being a nuisance and possibly causing damage to your devices, they will help prevent injury presented by the open socket. 

The added benefit of this type of electrical outlet safety cover is they provide protection for your plugs if you have furniture or other objects against the wall and outlet.  The plastic is extremely durable and will stand up to just about anything that presses up against it. 

LectraLock Outlet and Plug Cover

The LectraLock Outlet and Plug Cover is a great option for overall safety and preventing possible damage to electrical devices plugged into your outlets. 

They are available in both styles of receptacles including two screw type GFCI and single screw Duplex. The package includes cover plate and protective casing that is used in place of your existing cover plate. 

4.  Power Strip Cover

A power strip cover is an option that many parents will want to consider to baby proof their electrical equipment.  We all have that area where the rats nest of cords is both unsightly and unfortunately dangerous.  It's either hidden behind the television stand or somewhere we just don't want to think about it. 

Even though the cords and power strip or power bar are out of sight they are probably on the ground and within reach of an adventurous baby or child.  And since anything on the ground can be perceived as something to play with, power bars present a couple real hazards to children.  

Children can injure themselves on any empty sockets on the bar just as they can on a wall outlet.  The good news is there are a couple different solutions that are simple to use.  We've already talked about outlet plugs, they can be used to cover any empty slots on the power strip.  The downside is that this can be a hassle to change every time a device is added or removed from the bar. 

The other option is a power strip cover that will keep all the cords and plugs contained as well as provide some tidiness that every parent can appreciate. 

Mommy's Helper Power Strip Safety Cover

The Mommy's Helper Power Strip Safety Cover is a unique device designed specifically to keep children out of power strip bars.

This product fits most standard outlet power strips and surge protectors.  The locking mechanism will prevent children from accessing the plugs and allow parents access when necessary.  It includes outlet plugs to add an extra layer of safety. 

Extension Cord Safety

An electrical outlet safety cover will help prevent your child from shocks or burns but when it comes to electrical safety there's some things you should know about extension cords.  We all use extension cords when the device we are using can't reach the outlet or when we have too many devices in one area.  

When you have a baby or children the importance of extension cord safety goes beyond fire prevention.  It could be a matter of life and death and by following a few simple rules you can help prevent any dangerous and potentially harmful accidents. 

  • Never overload an extension cord with more devices than recommended
  • Use power strips or surge protectors whenever possible 
  • Only use extension cords for temporary tasks and not for permanent use
  • Never leave extension cords lying around 

In addition to recognizing that extension cords can be a safety hazard, so too can cords from electronic devices.  The new style of televisions has made them an increasingly hazardous item when babies and children are present.  They can be knocked over or pulled down and cause serious injury or fatality.  It's important to shorten or tie cords in a neat fashion in order to help prevent baby from pulling on them. 

If you have any questions about installing an electrical outlet safety cover, contact us with your questions or comments.  We really like getting feedback on issues surrounding baby home safety and we will reply within 48 hours on most occasions. 

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