9 months Asian baby curious looking at electronic plug

With Child Safety Week just around the corner, NICEIC – the UK’s leading body for certified electrical businesses – is reminding parents about the importance of having sufficient measures in place to ensure electrical safety in the home for the whole family.

Child Safety Week takes place from Monday 5 to Sunday 11 June 2023, with this year’s theme being, ‘Safety Made Simple’. ‘Safety Made Simple’ provides parents with the simple changes they can make to stop the scariest of accidents happening within the home. Offering easy solutions that can fit into busy routines, the theme acknowledges the dangers that youngsters face both inside and outside of the home.

In support, NICEIC says that there will be a proportion of the nation’s families who are unaware of the electrical 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.

Ahead of Child Safety Week, Paul Collins, Technical Director at NICEIC, has provided some simple advice for families to stay safe within the home.

Paul says: “It’s no secret that electrical devices such as tablets and video games are becoming the chosen choice of entertainment for many children. As a result, many tech-savvy kids are unknowingly leaving themselves open to serious electrical dangers. Should devices such as these be handled incorrectly, especially by children, the consequences are frightening. That’s why we want to encourage parents to take on some simple checks and measures in order to safeguard their family in and around the home.

“All of these devices need to be plugged in at some point in the home and parents should not overlook the potential risks surrounding these. It’s vital that the socket-outlet is not overloaded, as this can increase the risk of a fire in the home.

“Other simple precautions that parents can take include keeping electrical cords out of reach, checking cables for damage, keeping appliances off when not in use and never leaving younger children unattended when using a device still connected to the mains.

“The charity Electrical Safety First has also done some fantastic work around highlighting the sale of dangerous goods via online marketplaces. We support in their message and urge parents to shop safely online and only buy goods from reputable retailers.”

With summer just around the corner, parents must not overlook the potential hazards playing in the garden may bring. The garden poses particular electrical safety risks due to the added potential for water and electricity to mix – especially with children dipping in and out of paddling pools.

Paul continues: “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.

“Another important tip that may be surprising to parents is to not rely on plastic plug in 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 certified business, such as those listed with the NICEIC, as even the seemingly simplest of jobs can be incredibly dangerous if not installed properly.

Discussing the importance of child safety at home, Rory Carroll from the UK’s leading charity Electrical Safety First comments: “In the UK, online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Wish are not obliged to obey by the same laws as traditional retailers. So large numbers of dangerous electrical products are being sold to unknowing customers. As these possibly contain sub-standard or non-compliant parts, they can pose a serious risk of fire or electric shock. We want to ensure everyone stays safe within the home and urge you to only purchase from reputable retailers.

“If you are unsure about any areas of electrical safety inside or outside, we have various resources available on our Safety Around the Home hub and more information is available at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk.”

For further information or to search for your nearest NICEIC Certified business visit www.niceic.com.