Project in a nutshell
We developed and patented a line of innovative, affordable, durable and easy-to-install home childproofing and safety products: an electric outlet cover and a cabinet lock. We need your support to bring these products to the market to make parents’ lives easier and children safer.
The story behind the inventions
Did you know that each day, nearly seven children are treated in US hospital emergency rooms for electrical shock or burn injuries as a result of their tampering with an electrical outlet?
Did you know that for every ten children who are accidentally poisoned, nearly nine occur in the home (source ESFI, 2015)?
When our first child arrived two years ago, one of the first things we did was buying home childproofing gadgets, electric outlet covers and cabinet locks in particular.
We were disappointed with the lack of options available, and the ones we thought were alright ended up being a waste of money. I could pull the outlet covers out with just one finger. So could my daughter by the time she turned one. Scary.
The cabinet locks proved to be a project to install. After two days of trying to get them working, and messing up my cupboards in the process, I gave up. We just started tieing cupboard doors shut if they contained medicines or cleaning products.
Remarkably, I could only find one alternative to the outlet cover that worked better. Cabinet lock alternatives are sparse too, so clearly this market is poorly developed. I am sure we aren’t the only parents struggling with this problem.
Childproofing products are generally poorly made, dysfunctional and low quality. High-end products are usually prohibitively expensive. There should be options in the middle, I thought to myself—functional products that offer a decent balance between quality and price. So, I put my inventor hat on and started thinking about how to solve this problem. The result? Two provisionally patented products that will simplify the lives of parents and make children safer.
All that’s needed now is your support to bring these products to the market.
Childproof electrical outlet cover
The electrical outlet cover is simple but effective. Once inserted in the outlet, the durable stopper prongs actuated by a spring prevent the cover from coming out without the right mix of force and manual dexterity that young children don’t have. Adults, on the other hand, will find it easy to insert and pull out the outlet cover.
The outlet cover is made of durable, white plastic, and it’s visually pleasing. It has ergonomic handles allowing firm grip and operation. It visually complements the electric outlet. Our outlet cover is simpler than most comparable products in the market, with fewer moving parts and fasteners, so fewer fail points.
Childproof cabinet lock
The cabinet/cupboard door lock installs inside the cabinet using 3M removable adhesive strips, or screws, or both and isn’t visible when the cabinet door is closed, so no plastic eye soars and no drilling of the cabinet doors is required.
The lock is designed using high-quality, durable plastic and a high-power, rare-earth magnets. It can be unlocked by placing the magnetic key on the external surface of the cabinet door. The spot can be marked by an included attractive label that can be easily removed when it’s no longer needed.
The magnets are firmly embedded into the lock parts, so they won’t fall out to be found by your child. Just keep the key where it cannot be reached by your child. I use it as a fridge magnet as well. It’s a perfect solution for a cupboard where you keep your medicines or chemicals. It can also be adult-proof if you don’t label the secret spot on the cabinet and keep the key hidden.
Some of the existing magnetic locks on the market are fairly pricey and mechanically complex, hence more fail points. It’s also fairly easy to predict where the magnetic point is to unlock. We aim to make our product more affordable, secure, and simpler.
Both products come in sets or separately. A set includes two outlet covers and two door locks. If packaged separately, each package contains two outlet covers or two locks. All installation hardware and instructions are included – screws, 3M adhesive strips, and spot markers.
Where we’re at right now
Both products are provisionally patented. We developed functional prototypes that you can see in our demo video, which also describe the installation process and operation. Everything is ready for high-volume manufacturing, including CAD specifications, material specifications, and packaging.
We’re planning to work with manufacturers specializing in mold injection as this is the most economical way to produce plastic parts using durable white nylon.
Tooling to develop injection molds is expensive, so this where we need the bulk of the funding. We have access to low-cost metal parts (pins, springs, screws) and rare-earth magnet distributors.
Here’s what we have done so far:
- developed designs and CAD specifications
- did patent research to ensure our designs are unique and innovative
- produced functional prototypes
- installed and tested functional prototypes in real-life conditions
- patented both products (patents pending)
We need your support to…
- manufacture the first small batch for marketing and promotional purposes (small batch production is more expensive, and so we plan to allocate 90% of total project funding to complete tooling and produce the first batch for our backers)
- print product packaging and obtain UPC codes (5% of funding)
- invest into marketing and promotion (5% of funding)
- Small batch ready by September 30, 2017
- Backer perks start flowing shortly thereafter
About our team
Enerica LLC is dedicated to innovative product development. In business for a few years now, we are a small team of developers, project managers and graphic designers that is now looking to expand our product and service offerings.
My name is Albert, and I founded Enerica. I am a certified professional project manager (PMP). As the inventor-in-chief, I am passionate about finding creative solutions to everyday problems.
Yaris is a product designer and artist helping with the creative side of things. He has 30 years of experience and easily transforms complex concepts into elegant designs. He has a Master’s of Art (University of Derby) and a PhD in Art History and Archaeology (Paris-Sorbonne University).
Melody and Stephanie help with the marketing, content development and strategy. With backgrounds in communications and education, they bring tremendous benefit to this project.
Together, our digital marketing experience gives us the leverage to make our products a success.
You can find out more about our company at www.enerica.com
If you aren’t ready to back the product financially, please consider helping us by spreading the word.
Risks and challenges
Getting this product onto retail shelves will be our biggest challenge. With our marketing experience, and by building relationships with the retail industry, particularly online retailers such as Amazon, we believe we can overcome this hurdle.
It might also be challenging to find a reliable, quality manufacturer with which to negotiate for the initial small batch production. Most manufacturers are volume-oriented. Working with several manufacturers using a process of trial and careful selection may help mitigate this risk.