Parents & Families

Parents - keep your children safe from electricity

Preparing for the arrival of a first child can be a stressful time for parents.

Around two thirds of parents will carry out electrical DIY in the home as part of the preparation. However, they often do so without taking the necessary safety precautions and as children grow they can also be exposed to all sorts of hazards.

There are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure the safety of your children and the whole family.

Keep your children safe around electricity

  • Don't rely on socket blanking plugs for your child's safety. Regular sockets are generally safe and socket covers will not prevent electric shock if the installation is not safe.
  • The only way to be safe from a fatal electric shock and reduce the risk of fire is to have RCD protection, either in the fusebox or as a plug-in.
  • Keep appliance cords out of the reach of children, especially those connected to hot items such as kettles, irons, hair straighteners or hairdryers.
  • Never leave an unconnected appliance cord plugged in and switched on (for example, a mobile phone charger). Young children may be tempted to put the end of the cord in their mouths.
  • Don't leave appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers running during the night or when you are out. If you do not have an RCD in your fusebox, use a plug-in RCD for these items.
  • Appliances should be switched off when not in use.
  • After a bath or shower, you should make sure your children are dried off thoroughly before they go anywhere near electrical things like games consoles – water and electricity can be deadly.
  • This also means not letting your kids run straight from the paddling pool into the house where there are plugs, sockets and switches. Get them dry first.
  • Keep drinks away from TVs, DVD players, stereos, speakers, computers, games consoles and anything else electrical.

In the garden

There are many potential electrical hazards in the garden. For example, lawn mowers and hedge cutters can cut through their own electric cables, causing a risk of electric shock. It’s important to be vigilant at all times, especially if young children are nearby.

If you are working with electrical equipment in the garden, always use an RCD.

Get the app

To ensure your peace of mind, why not download our free smartphone app, Home Electrical Safety Check, and carry out basic visual checks in your home. 

The app has been designed to be as easy to use as possible and will highlight any hazards that need attention.

Socket Blanking Plugs

We don’t promote the use of socket blanking plugs as we don’t consider normal household sockets a serious risk to children.

These sockets have built in safety shutters to prevent access to the live parts inside. However, we understand that using these plugs may give parents and carers additional peace of mind. It’s your choice.

To view our policy statement click here.