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Before responding save yourself the trouble of telling me the elder can't be or shouldn't be left alone. That's not the question.


It is my goal to make the house as safe as possible whether others are in the home or not. All sources of fire have pretty much been eliminating except one sticking point: The 1800 watt toaster oven. For too many reasons putting it away in a cupboard or high up out of reach are not solutions. I'm looking for anyone's experience as well as with cupboard locks--do the childproof ones on Amazon etc work for you?


We had an electrician out for another matter. His suggestion was to get a heavy duty power strip, put it in the cupboard above where the toaster oven sits, make a small hole, and run the cord from the toaster oven up into the power strip, while the power strip plug would come out and into the safety covered outlet that could not be messed with. Then the power could be cut by my using the switch on the power strip, and finally locking the cupboard.


Another electrician thinks that the new outlets he's required to install are childproof to start out with and he thinks if the toaster oven were left unplugged, mom would have a real challenge trying to plug it in the right way. But that still seems uncertain to me...still a chance...and puts us back to the insanity of her being OCD and pulling the plugs out constantly which means having to reset the microwave clock.


She is somewhat functional but needs supervision that she angrily rejects. For the most part she doesn't attempt any efforts in the kitchen, but I caught her attempting to put the kettle up for tea...clueless that the knobs were missing from the electric stove top and there was no heat source.

A GFCI ( ground fault circuit interruptor) can be manually tripped so there is no power to feed the oven. Go to home depot and look at one or better yet, have it explained to you. The gfci has two little push button swithches on it. One is test and the other is reset. Push the test button and you should hear a little click. When you wish to use the oven push the reset button. Having to set the clock is a minor inconvenience compared to the alternative. Not much worse that putting the knobs back onto the stove to use it.
A gfci can be installed to be the only receptacle that is disconnected or it can be wired to disconnect other receptacles.
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Isthisrealyreal Apr 15, 2019
You are correct oldsailor, she will never be able to figure this out and even if she did, she wouldn't be able to reset. Mine are a challenge but quite effective.
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Love the ideas...I don't think I clearly understand how a GFI outlet will prevent her from using the toaster oven if it is plugged in? Am I missing something? Do these outlets have on/off switches? If that's the case, it's a great idea, but recreates the initial issue of her CONSTANTLY pulling the cords out of the outlet, which results in needing to reset the microwave clock in order to use it. We're having our panels replaced in the near future (if you have a Federal Pacific box or one that says Stablock, it's trouble). So the breaker thing is a thought...but it would impact what else might be on that line...unless....there is a way to set up only that outlet...but again...it would lead to constantly resetting the clock. I guess I can't have everything:-) I like your idea of appliances she could use, but at this point the short-term memory is too absent for her to know how to operate it. There are so many steps we take for granted. Even with Keurig...you have to know to put the cup beneath...
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I can hear both frustration and fear in your post.

For the frustration of the microwave clock, just stop resetting it. Your microwave will function normally without setting the clock. I know the 'norm' is to have the clock set, but there is no reason to. Generally there is a clock on the stove and you can put up a wall clock too.

Would she attempt to remove the child covers for outlets to plug in the toaster oven?

I have one outlet in my house with this on it. https://www.amazon.ca/izHome-Universal-Electric-Outlet-Cover/dp/B01FX8836G/ref=sr_1_7?hvadid=233204803646&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001612&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=3521453297100202147&hvtargid=kwd-322652581339&keywords=child+proof+outlet+cover&qid=1555347310&s=gateway&sr=8-7

I am sure you have them installed, but a reminder to ensure your smoke detectors are up to date, have fresh batteries and are working.
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Isthisrealyreal Apr 15, 2019
Mine has to be set to operate. Doesn't have to be the right time but needs to be set.
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I had to go to my kitchen to see how we had my cabinets hooked up for our over the sink light and over the stove microwave. We have outlet boxes in our cabinets. Of course the light is right under the cabinet and so is the microwave. But they would still keep her from pulling the plug.
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robinr Apr 15, 2019
I don't think I explained it well...the plug pulling issue is gratefully resolved...it's that the toaster oven stays plugged in and could be turned on, and that's what I want to keep her from being able to do...so the power strip inside the locked cupboard would be a kill switch to the toaster oven more or less.
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There are locking outlet covers that are steel boxes. You can get them designed to lock around a cord or just to secure the outlet. They're usually used outside but can be used indoors as well. Probably cheaper than having cabinet outlets installed.
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robinr Apr 15, 2019
The childproof box we got is working fine, just as you described without the ugly box over it (this one is clear plastic)...but the point I didn't explain well is that one of the cords plugged into it is the toaster oven which can still be turned on...and I want to alleviate that possibility...while at the same time not making it a massive inconvenience for me because the elders use it in the AM and I often use it when making dinner for them..the power strip suggested would be placed in the cupboard with a small opening made for the cord to run through, so it's not like we're having an outlet installed...and we'll already have an electrician on hand as we're having the fuse boxes replaced (unrelated to the outlet issue; they are fuse boxes from the 60's known to be problematic)
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That sounds like a clever solution but wouldn't a GFI outlet be simpler? Do you think she would have the wherewithal to remember to turn the outlet on as well as plug the appliance in before you could intervene? The ultimate solution is to trip the breakers in the main panel.

Can you find her appliances that she IS capable of using so that she is less apt to keep trying? For example I love my keurig for coffee and it will do tea too, I can't see any way it could be used in a dangerous way.
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