When Shawn Warner saw his daughter Madeline, 1 at the time, pulling cords out of the electrical outlets on the wall, he was afraid she may get shocked.
And when he couldn't find a simple solution to prevent that, last year the Lewistown native, a 2002 graduate of Penn State University with a degree in electrical engineering technology, invented Secure-Connect, a nylon adjustable yoke that keeps electrical plugs secured in wall receptacles.
"It is an electrical safety product that keeps cords from being pulled from outlets," Warner said.
(Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec)
Shawn Warner demonstrates the device he invented called the Secure-Connect. Warner Innovative Solutions of 931 N. Third Ave., Altoona, is marketing the new product.
Mike Kessling, director of promotions for Warner's company, Warner Innovative Solutions Inc., said it is a child safety product but it doesn't stop there.
Secure-Connect will secure any wire to an outlet for safety purposes as well as convenience to make sure any cord is held securely into a circuit.
"It secures the plug to keep children from messing around with it. It can be used for other things as well. There are so many uses for this product it is unreal," said Mike Kessling, company director of promotions.
Warner said the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership did a background study for him on the product and couldn't find anything like it.
"A product like this has never existed before," Kessling said. "To have a single product that can protect children, pets, appliances and have uses for commercial contractors is very rare."
Warner hopes to turn the simple device into a big money maker for Warner Innovative Solutions, his seven-employee business at 931 N. Third Ave., which he opened after he developed Secure-Connect.
The product, which is made of recycled materials, will be manufactured by Augustine Plastics in Somerset and packaged by Damin Printing in Ebensburg. Mass production will begin in June.
Kessling said the product has extreme potential.
"We are negotiating with many national stores such as Home Depot, Lowe's and Target," Kessling said.
Secure-Connect, which will sell for $4.99 apiece, will also be available locally at The Hite Co. and Ace Hardware stores.
"We will give it a shot in some areas. We have 23 locations but will definitely be selling it in Altoona," said Eric Childers, marketing coordinator for The Hite Co. "I think it has some potential. Our view is these guys did a lot of work to develop the product and we want to support them. They are Altoona guys and we are an Altoona-based company."
Warner said his company received guidance from Altoona-Blair County Development Corp. and from Paul Luther, general manager at Poof Slinky Inc. in Hollidaysburg.
"I think their product is a good idea. It is user-friendly, and it will be a made-in-America product," said Luther, who put Warner in touch with Augustine Plastics.
The company will launch a national advertising campaign with a full page ad in the June issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. Secure-Connect, which is patented and copyrighted, has received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Warner said.
"We want to take this product globally," Kessling said.
Warner Innovative Solutions has some other projects in the works and also encourages other people to bring their ideas to them.
"If you have an idea you can come to us, we can take it from an idea to a product," Kessling said. 'We know the steps to take. If we can help others bring their ideas to fruition, we will do that as well."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.