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Baby Safety Month

September is Baby Safety Month, which is sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufactures Association (JPMA). While the event was created to “increase consumer awareness of safety issues and the safe selection of baby products,” it has expanded to include general safety procedures and information. Universal Home Expertsfeels strongly about the wellbeing of its Houston neighbors and their children. Our home services encompass electrical, HVAC and plumbing; all of which come with unique hazards for infants and toddlers. From baby-proofing electrical outlets to preventing burns from hot water, we’ve compiled a list of safety solutions from the experts. This September (and throughout the year), make baby safety a priority in your home.

Electrical Safety

The National Electrical Code requires that all new and renovated electrical installations have tamper-resistant outlets. These designs contain spring-loaded shutters that close off the outlet’s contact openings. This requirement was issued in 2008, so homes that were constructed before that date may not have the new outlets. Outlet plugs are recommended as they can easily be removed when the outlet needs to be used. Outlet and power strip covers can encase the entire design and leave room for cords that are plugged into the outlet/power strip. Covers are ideal for outlets that have a fixed cord connection such as a lamp or computer – electronics that are always connected. Outlet plates keep an outlet inaccessible, but can easily be opened by sliding them to the side. When a cord is unplugged from the outlet, the plate slides back into place, covering the area.

Babies who are crawling or just learning to walk need a free space to explore. Make sure that all cords to electrical equipment are placed behind furniture and out of the way of trafficked areas. Put groups of cords together in cord tubes to ensure they are neatly tucked away from sight. Try removing unnecessary electrical equipment such as box fans or table lamps that can be replaced by ceiling fans and lights.

HVAC Safety

HVAC registers are the vents that are generally located on the floor (sometimes walls) of a home. Because of their location and material (usually metal), they can be dangerous for babies who are just learning to crawl or walk. You can add some security by fixing the register to floor with screws, but some designs don’t allow for this. You might need to buy new registers that can be screwed into place. New parents might also consider replacing the metal designs with plastic registers, which are not as sharp.

While conditioned air is essential in keeping your baby comfortable, they should be kept away from the air flow. Make sure that you place your baby’s crib away from air vents so that the air isn’t blowing directly on them. You will also want to be mindful of the heat in winter. Make sure that the nursery doesn’t get too warm – and that the air doesn’t get too dry. While Houston can stay humid throughout the year, home interiors can sometimes

Plumbing Safety

Most homeowners are not aware that their water heater temperature can be adjusted. Your current temperature could be set anywhere from 120 – 140 degrees. It is recommended that when a baby is in the home, the water heater temperature should be set at 110 degrees. This will ensure that the baby is not accidentally burned by scalding water during a bath.

Baby-proof the bathroom toilets with lid locks until it’s time to toilet train your child. You’ll also want to put a safety latch on the bathroom doors to keep them from crawling into the bathroom unattended. In the kitchen, make sure that you close the dishwasher door after use. Place locks on all the lower cabinets in the kitchen, especially the cabinets underneath the sink. Be quick to wipe up any spills or water in the kitchen/bathroom to avoid slips. Consider installing anti-scalding devices on the kitchen and bathroom faucets for extra protection.

Remember that the licensed professionals at Universal can help with all your home service needs. Whether you need to make changes in your home for the new arrival, or need repair or installation assistance, our experts can help! Call us at (713) 364-0226 to schedule an appointment today!

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For more information on electrical upgrades, give us a call at (713) 364-0226 (available 24/7). Or you can visit us online or drop us a message on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Universal Home Experts is your trusted source for all of your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC needs. We service the entire Houston area. Don’t forget to schedule your annual heating maintenance tune-up. It will extend the life of your HVAC system, increase energy efficiency, and ensure your warranties remain valid.