Tamper resistant sockets, also known as GFCI receptacles, are a new electrical safety device designed to reduce the number of electrical shocks resulting from plugging in or removing electrical plugs from receptacles. The benefits associated with GFCI’s are many, the most important of which is increased electrical safety. Let’s take a brief look at some of the primary benefits of installing tamper resistant sockets in your home.
Increased Shock Protection
Every year, roughly 2,400 children are shocked and burned when trying to plug in electrical devices into sockets. As a result, the NEC is now requiring tamper resistant (or TR) receptacles to be installed in both new buildings, and structures undergoing renovation. Because tamper resistant receptacles require more force to accept a plug, children have a reduced likelihood of being able to plug in any electrical devices without adult supervision.
Reduce Fire Hazards
Another foundational feature of TR sockets is the fact that they are designed to detect and stop ground faults from occurring. For those who don’t know, ground faults occur when there is an interruption in the ground wire’s path, causing electricity to redirect itself into other “grounds,” such as the individual plugging in a lamp. TR sockets are also called GFCI’s because they interrupt ground faults before they can become a hazard. As a result, the risk of electrical fires is reduced significantly.
Prolong the Life of Household Appliances
Surprisingly, electrical leakage due to excessive electrical current can be unnaturally absorbed by household appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators. If continued long enough, this can cause unnatural wear and tear of the electrical equipment within the appliance. One of the added benefits of using tamper resistant or GFCI receptacles is the fact that they protect appliances from receiving excessive electrical current. Even if your home is not being completely renovated, it may be valuable to consider replacing any standard sockets with GFCI receptacles if they are being used to support major appliances.
Overall, tamper resistant sockets are incredibly useful for protecting your home against major electrical complications. The fact that they can protect against fire hazards, shock threats, and protect the integrity of major electrical appliances has made them a popular tool for electrical safety. Although the NEC is currently only requiring new construction and ongoing renovations to install these lifesaving devices, families concerned about electrical safety may benefit from installing tamper resistant sockets in high traffic areas commonly used by children.