Imagine this: It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’re planning a night out. You’ve reserved a table and booked a babysitter. You’ve gone over everything: instructions for the kids’ routines, important contact information and where to find supplies.
But did you also prepare your home? With a little preparation, you can help ensure your children’s safety, make your babysitter’s life easier and secure a peaceful night out for yourself.
First, your home’s electrical system should be in good working order. Looking for and repairing electrical problems well before your evening out is an important step in preventing electrical accidents.
Cracked outlet covers and discolored outlets and switches are indications of electrical problems. These problems can lead to fires and electric shocks. Contact a professional to have your home inspected and any problems repaired.
These additional tips can help increase safety awareness, eliminate electrical hazards and put your mind at ease:
- Repair or dispose of damaged electronics and cords.
- Keep cords out of sight so that children are not tempted to play with them.
- Use outlet covers or tamper-resistant receptacles. Small fingers can fit easily into sockets, and children may poke objects into outlets. Tamper-resistant outlets have a shutter system to keep them safe.
- Use ground-fault circuit interrupters to prevent shocks. GFCIs detect and prevent dangerous situations where an electric shock could occur. You should have GFCIs anywhere that water and electricity may meet, such as in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Have ready a fire extinguisher that is rated for electrical fires. Be sure your babysitter knows where it is and how to use it.
- Install smoke alarms, and be sure their batteries work.
- Be prepared for power outages. Have flashlights and spare batteries on hand, and let your babysitter know where they are.
- Post a list of emergency phone numbers that includes contact info for your electric cooperative.
With preparation, you can make sure that your children are in the safe comfort of home while you enjoy your night out.