Tamper Resistant Outlets for Child Safety

Electrical Video FAQ – Tamper Resistant Outlets

Transcription of FAQ Video:

Hello I'm Bill Root with Root Electric and I'm here with my son Peter. He is just about nine months old right now and we are in as you can see, his nursery. And we have the usual stuff. We have a crib, we have a chest of drawers, and over here we have the rocking chair. We call it the fighting chair because that's where he gets put to sleep. And the reason why I'm coming to you from the nursery is because I want to talk about outlet safety for children. So I'm going to give him to my lovely assistant over here and we're going to talk about outlets.

Now my house is an older house, it was built in the 1970's. I bought it because it was a contemporary home and I like contemporary homes. And one of the things about older homes is of course things need to be replaced and updated. So one of the items that was never updated in this house was the outlets. Of course me just being a bachelor when I originally bought it, I didn't worry about the outlets even though I was an electrician at the time. So I guess the carpenter's son wears no shoes, right? So what we're going to do is we're going to talk about the outlets that I'm going to use to make this room safer.

So if you would like to come over here and just kind of take a look at the... over here on our bed. I have a few solutions that you can go ahead and look into. One of the solutions, just kind of point over here, you could buy one of these child proofing kits, and now I'm not endorsing this particular product so don't look at it and try to find it at the store, however the child proofing kits contain these plug covers, all right. Now if you don't want to replace or upgrade the outlets in your older home you can use these plug covers and the secret to these is that they install inside of the... and I'm going to bring this a little bit closer... they install inside of the outlet holes. And so you just plug it in like that, and the outlet is protected. Now obviously you would have one on the bottom as well.

Now the issue with these though, while they are good, I mean a child can't pull them out, even as a grown man it's not easy for me to pull them out, but the problem is though is if you ever want to use the outlet you have to remember to put the plug back in and if you're a new mom or a new dad and you're not used to doing that. That might be a problem if you forget.

Now the best solution is to use a tamper resistant outlet and if you want to come back over here I'll show you what that means. This is a kit that was given to me by Leviton, a manufacturer of very high quality outlets, and these are all tamper resistant outlets. Now this is a normal one, this is a Decora style outlet, these two are Duplex style outlets. This one, the clear one here is a demo outlet so that you can see how a tamper resistant outlet works. Now this is just kind of a little plug that you can... a demonstrator.

Now the way these things work is of course you can see that it's clear and inside there's kind of these white slides and what those are is those are actually passive blocks. So let's say you took, now this is a demonstrator item but let's say you took I don't know, a fork or maybe a small hairpin or clothes pin, something that a small child can pick up, if they tried to go ahead and place it into one of the outlet holes, they won't be able to because that plastic blocks it, okay? However if you take something with a normal plug, say for a lamp or a vacuum and try to plug it in, all you have to do is push it into the plug like a normal plug. The best part is, is once you finish up, all you do is you pull the plug out and the safety block is back in place there, you see? So you don't have to leave anything to memory; that outlet will always be safe.

So as far as safety for a nursery, or a house where you just recently had children, or if you just want to update your house to make it safe and up to current codes, the best solution for outlet replacement is to use a tamper resistant outlet. Thank you very much for listening. I'm Bill Root with Root Electric and we keep you grounded.​

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About the Author

During my tenure at Root Electric, I lead the transition of Root Electric from a primarily sub-contracting based business model to a prime-contracting based business model. Accomplishments have been made by developing a team based approach to researching and implementing a service-specific client management system. My goals for the next five years are to fine tune Root Electric's brand strategy and to diversify its scope of services, while remaining true to the discipline of electrical work.