Young children are curious and keen to play with new things, which is why they should never be left alone in a room where electric appliances or fittings are in use.

It takes only a moment for a child to poke something into a heater, pull on a cord, topple an appliance, or put something into an electrical outlet. Here are a few tips to help keep your family safe:

  • Arrange your furniture so children have room to play away from heaters and other appliances
  • Ensure that heavy appliances – like your TV – stand on furniture intended to take their weight.  Position them so they are stable and not likely to fall on to a child if they bump into it or climb onto it to reach something on a nearby shelf
  • Always choose shuttered sockets and recessed outlets when new electrical work is being done, especially for sockets accessible to toddlers and young children
  • For sockets, use plastic safety plugs in all unused power points that don't have safety shutters. Ensure safety plugs are a firm fit and impossible for little fingers to remove
  • Multi-boxes or power boards should be kept out of reach, preferably on a wall bracket.  If this can’t be done, use a multi-box cover. If possible buy multi-boxes with shuttered outlets and an installed RCD
  • When you finish using appliances like hair dryers, put them away so children don't play with them
  • Use a short cord on your electric jugs and kettles to prevent children from pulling them down onto themselves and getting badly burned or scalded
  • Keep metal objects like keys, scissors or nail files out of reach so they can't be poked into socket-outlets, heaters or other electrical outlets
  • Teach your children about the dangers of electricity and demonstrate safe behaviour

Energy education in schools

For more than eight years, the Energy Education Programme has run in Eastern Bay primary schools. This free programme educates, motivates and encourages a life-long commitment to energy efficiency and introduces children to safe behaviour when they are around electricity.

Co-funded by Horizon Networks, the programme gives Eastern Bay schools access to current information and classroom resources on electricity safety, generation, transmission, distribution and energy efficient consumption of energy.

With trained teachers and six learning sessions per class, it covers all levels of primary school from new entrants to year eight in full primary schools. National curriculum learning areas include:

  • Nature of science
  • Physical world
  • Numeracy and literacy

To book your school in for the programme, or for more information, contact Louise or Peter Maple at Green Gauge: 07 315 4623 / 027 696 0147 or green.gauge@xtra.co.nz