Having a new baby in the house is both an exciting yet stressful time. So much to do, so much to prepare, yet so much to enjoy.

Hi, I’m Matt the founder and director of Prolecko. We are electricians in Perth and what’s more, I’m a new dad. So here’s is mine and Malachi’s Five tips for making the house safer for the little ones.

Smoke alarms are a vital safety component in our home to warn us and wake us up in the event of a fire. In WA, smoke alarms are required to be connected to mains power and also required to have a backup battery.

They are required to be replaced every ten years and the date that it’s due, can be found printed on the inside. While you’re checking, make sure you replace the battery as they need doing every year. We usually recommend you do this on April Fools Day. to help you remember. Here in WA, the minimum requirement sees you needing a smoke alarm in the hallway outside each sleeping area. However, remember that your young ones will regularly sleep with their doors shut. So in case of a fire in their room. We strongly recommend getting your local electrician to install one in their bedroom also.

Safety switches, also commonly known as RCDs, are the devices in your switchboard that keep you safe in case of a fault or an accident on the power circuit. You can find them in your switchboard. They’re the ones with the test button. So in here, the black button here is the test button. Push it and it should trip. Yours may look different to this, but they will always have a test button. Push the test button, make sure they trip. Then I recommend going around the whole house make sure you’ve lost power to all your power points and all your lighting to make sure they cover every circuit.

There are two types of RCDs to consider. The most common one is a 30mA RCD. They’re used in pretty much every home. They trip out when the fault current gets above 30mA so that means if you’re getting a shock more than 30mA, it will trip out.

The other type is a more sensitive. It trips at one third the amount, so they are called 10mA RCD’s. They’re commonly used in hospitals and daycares, those sort of places. When I upgraded this switchboard, I put in the 10mA on the power circuits only because I knew that they would give a bit better protection in case something ever happened to Malachi. So, it doesn’t matter which one you choose, that’s up to you. But the most important thing is you go to your switchboard, you press the test buttons, make sure they trip out, and then make sure the power is turned off in your home.

As our little ones grow, they get more inquisitive and they discover that most Australian outlets are right at their eye height. Even with safety switches it’s best if we blank the power points off completely. So Malachi do you want to push that in there? Let’s put that in there and make it safe. There is really no excuse. I got a 24 pack from Kmart for $4 so we put it in any unused outlets and then even better we’ll grab Malachi out of the way and we’ll shift the furniture in front of the point. That way you can’t get to it at all.

Nothing is more fun for this little guy than playing with the cords and wrapping them all around himself. Check for frays and damage on the cable. Tuck away cables behind furniture where you can and if it’s not in use, let’s get rid of it and put it away.

Any good electrician should be able to give you advice on anything that needs attention. At Prolecko, we do an electrical safety check. It’s a comprehensive 27 step check to make sure your house is safe. Having kids is an exciting time of your life. Let’s work together to keep them safe.

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