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NAN: Heating and Electrical Systems

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When volunteering in a private home, nannies should be familiar with the preventive measures they can take to reduce the risk of injury resulting from heating and electrical systems. Shielding radiators, fireplaces and wood stoves can help to prevent accidental burns. Fireproof safety gates, screening and padding can prevent injuries resulting in falls and burns from hearths and storing matches and lighters out of sight and reach help to prevent accidental fires.

In bathrooms and kitchens, electrical appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, shavers, coffee pots, and toasters should always be unplugged when they are not being used. When plugged in, the use of circuit-breaking electrical outlets in bathrooms should be encouraged to reduce the risk of shock as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) outlets offer more protection from shock than traditional outlets. Unused electrical outlets should be blocked by installing safety plates with sliding or turning outlet covers or by inserting plastic safety plugs into unused outlets. 

Wires from electrical appliances throughout the home, including those to computers and televisions, should be fastened to the floor with electrical tape to prevent trips and to deter a child from pulling on them. 

Nannies should discuss any concerns she has about the heating and electrical system in the home with the family. Nannies should also ensure that they know how to turn off these systems in the home should the need arise. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Heating and Electrical Systems