Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Parents warned on electric sockets

The majority of new parents are failing to do enough to protect children from electrical accidents, including relying too heavily on socket covers, according to a study.

While 74% of new parents believe their home is safe, 62% rely on socket covers and just 38% have a residual current device (RCD) to prevent fatal electric shocks and minimise fire, the survey for the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) found.

Although more parents use socket covers than baby monitors or stair barriers, regular sockets are generally safe and covers will not prevent a shock if the installation is not safe, the ESC said.
At least one person dies each week in their own home from an electrical accident, while 350,000 people are seriously injured each year, according to figures. Electrical accidents cause almost half of all house fires.
The ESC appealed to retailers, media and experienced parents to take responsibility for educating new parents about real electrical dangers and the importance of an RCD.

RCDs cut the electrical current if there is an unusual surge and offer better protection than normal fuses and circuit breakers, the ESC said.

ESC director general Phil Buckle said: "We have found that new parents have a worrying lack of knowledge about electrical safety issues. We aim to raise awareness of the hazards in the home and the simple steps that parents can take to both ensure the safety of their family and pass on this knowledge to their children as they grow up.

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