Receptacle Safety

Because of the nature of electricity there are always possibilities of electrical hazards. Thankfully, with modern breakthroughs and inventions, electrical safety is becoming more adequate. In this article I want to discuss how certain types of receptacles are now providing homes, businesses, and other establishments with safety and security. We will examine GFCI receptacles and then take a look at tamper-proof receptacles and how they protect us and our families from electrical harm.

GFCI

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. These receptacles can be identified by the two little buttons in the middle of the outlet. By code, houses and any other buildings are required to install GFCIs. This type of receptacles are installed in kitchens, bathrooms, and outside receptacles. Many houses were built before GFCIs were required by code to be installed. If your house does not have them it is in your best interest to have them installed. These receptacles can save lives preventing hazardous shocks.

I want to try to explain as simply as possible what a GFCI receptacle does. The GFCI measures the amount of electricity running through the receptacle. Any spike in electrical flow or neutral to ground interruption would cause the GFCI to trip out. For example, if you dropped a hairdryer in the tub, or a blender in the sink, the receptacle would shut off/trip out before a shocking hazard would endanger your life. GFCIs are important for outdoor receptacles as well. If you were weed eating and there was a nick in your cord that came in contact with wet grass the GFCI would trip out and protect you from electrical shock.

The bottom line is that GFCIs are very important in protecting us and our loved ones from hazardous electrical accidents. I highly recommend that if your house or establishment does not have this type of receptacle, please consider getting them installed.

Tamper Proof Receptacles

I have two children. When my daughter was born my wife and I put those little white outlet protectors in the outlets around the house. More than what we want to admit, it seemed like those little outlet protectors would be taken out so the outlet could be used and not always put back in. My daughter didn’t get into much mischief so we were more lax when it came to childproofing the house. When my son came along, it was a whole new ballgame. He would actually look for things to get into. If he saw an outlet protector in a receptacle he would try to pull it out and play with it. That’s when I decided to change the receptacles in the house to tamper proof receptacles.

Tamper proof receptacles are special receptacles that are designed to protect children from sticking an object into a receptacle, causing electrical shock. How do they work? When you insert a plug into a tamper proof receptacle both blades of the plug have to enter at the same time to force the doors open on the receptacle, causing electricity to flow through.

It’s a good idea for all houses to have tamper proof receptacles, as well as businesses, churches, offices, or anywhere children might be present. The cost of these receptacles is low but the protection they provide is huge.