If you have young children in your home, you may have to navigate some added complexity when it comes to heating. Children are young and curious, and it’s only a matter of time before they start exploring registers, radiators, electrical outlets and other heating system components. As you think through your options this winter, consider these tips for childproofing heating systems:
- Registers — Registers can be a significant source of frustration for parents. Not only do these floor vents emit hot air that can make your grates hot to the touch, but they can also turn into receptacles for toys and other objects children might drop down them. If unattached, children may also pull them up, leaving an open area down into the heating source. Unfortunately, registers are a necessary component in many home heating systems, but they are also a trouble spot for your children. You can put up a tri-fold screen, but you would need many of them to cover multiple registers. One of the best things to do is find a way to attach your registers using screws, Velcro or double-sided tape. You can also cut chicken wire to fill the area just below the register, preventing toys and other items from falling down into them.
- Radiators — Hot to the touch, radiators are another source of frustration for parents. A tri-fold fireplace screen is a fast and simple solution, but it may not look the way you want and you may not have enough space to keep the screen in the area around the radiator. Consider purchasing or making a radiator cover that fits your appliance and looks the way you want it to. If you’re a renter, check your lease and local regulations — some landlords are required to provide a radiator cover.
- Outlets — For heating systems and beyond, electrical outlets are a serious trouble spot for children. The fast and easy way to fix the problem is to purchase outlet caps. These caps fit right into the outlet and prevent children from sticking their fingers or other objects into them. However, caps can be difficult to take out when an adult wants to use the outlet. Outlet covers provide a simple solution. They deliver the same protection as caps, but with an ease of use that makes it simple to continue plugging and unplugging items into the outlet. Childproof power strip covers and electrical cord shorteners also create a safer environment for children.
Other Childproof Options
A safety gate can restrict access to any area of your home that features a threshold or doorway. As you consider just how dangerous the components of your heating system are, use gloves to feel along edges, both for sharpness and for heat. Remember that a child’s skin is more sensitive than an adult’s, and make adjustments accordingly.
At Smart Touch Energy, we have a long history of experience working with East Coast homeowners to create safe and comfortable environments. If you have any questions about childproofing your home’s heating system, we would be glad to provide expert guidance. Contact us today about childproofing your home’s heating system.