With Child Safety Week coming up, NICEIC – the UK’s leading body for certified electrical contractors – is reminding parents about the importance of having appropriate measures in place to ensure electrical safety in the home for the whole family.
Child Safety Week takes place from Monday 6 to Sunday 12 June 2022, with this year’s theme designed to make sure busy families have the ‘safety in mind’ that really matters, especially when under pressure. ‘Safety in mind’ places a focus on the array of dangers that youngsters face both inside and outside of the home, covering areas such as choking hazards, swallowing button batteries, fire safety and walking near busy roads.
In support, NICEIC says that there will be a proportion of the nation’s families who are unaware of the dangers that can exist around the home; whilst for others, they may be aware but too busy to keep up with simple maintenance and vital periodic checks.
Paul Collins, Head of Technical Services at NICEIC, comments: “We can all fall victim to having endless to-do lists, especially when it comes to the upkeep of one’s home. But when it comes to home safety, there are simple checks and measures which we would encourage parents to move up to the very top of their “must do” list in order to safeguard their children in and around the home.
“In terms of using electrical equipment safely in the home, it’s about taking sensible precautions; for example, keeping electrical cords out of reach, keeping appliances off when not in use and never leaving a child unattended when using a device still connected to the mains. Obviously, water and electrics don’t mix; so all drinks should be kept away from anything electrical and children must be dried thoroughly before being exposed to any light switches or nearby devices.”
With the digital age coming into its own and children seeking entertainment via tablets, phones and consoles, NICEIC urges parents not to overlook the potential risks around using these types of electrical devices. All of these need to be plugged into an electrical socket at some point or another and it’s important to always ensure that the socket or an adapter is not overloaded, as this can increase the risk of a fire in the home.
Paul continues: “Parents must not forget the hazards outside of the home too. The garden poses particular electrical safety risks thanks to the added potential for water and electricity to mix – especially with children dipping in and out of paddling pools.
“When using electrical equipment outside, it’s important to make sure all electrical appliances are using a residual current device (RCD). An RCD is a safety device that automatically turns off electricity if a fault has been discovered. This will help protect children and all family members against the dangers of electrocution and fire which can be caused by earth faults.
“Another important tip that may be surprising to parents is to not rely on plug socket covers. Regular sockets, that comply with British safety standards, have a built in protection mechanism already and socket covers will not prevent electric shock if the installation is not safe.”
Crucially, NICEIC recommends that any electrical work in the home should be conducted by a qualified, certified professional, such as those listed with the NICEIC, as even the seemingly simplest of jobs can be incredibly dangerous if not installed properly.
If parents are unsure about any areas of electrical safety inside or outside of the home, a wealth of information is available from Electrical Safety First, the UK’s leading charity on electrical safety. Resources can be located via the charity’s Safety Around the Home hub at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk.
Parents can also contact their local NICEIC certified electrical contractor for help and advice. Local NICEIC certified contractors can be searched for by visiting NICEIC.com.