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Difference Between Tamper Resistant Outlets


Here at B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, we have been serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance and installation, making us your go-to electrician for your home or business in the Warwick area and the greater Providence Area. In this article, we will discuss the difference between tamper-resistant outlets and traditional outlets, and why you should consider upgrading to tamper-resistant outlets for your home.

Traditional outlets, also known as standard outlets, have been the standard type of outlets used in homes for many years. They consist of two vertical slots, commonly known as the hot and neutral slots, and one round grounding slot. These outlets work by allowing electricity to flow from the hot slot to the connected device, and then back out through the neutral slot. The grounding slot is designed to protect against electric shocks by providing a pathway for electricity to flow to the ground in the event of a short circuit.

On the other hand, tamper-resistant outlets have an added safety feature that traditional outlets do not have. They have shutters placed behind the vertical slots, which only open when both slots are being firmly inserted with a plug at the same time. This feature makes it more difficult for small objects, such as fingers or household items, to be inserted into the outlets, preventing accidental electric shock or other hazards. This added layer of safety is especially important for homes with young children who are naturally curious and tend to explore their surroundings.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately 2,400 children are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries sustained from inserting objects into outlets. Tamper-resistant outlets can greatly reduce this number, making them a worthwhile investment for any home with young children. As licensed electricians, safety is our top priority and we highly recommend the use of tamper-resistant outlets for every home.

Another key difference between traditional and tamper-resistant outlets is the design of the shutters. Traditional outlets have spring-loaded plates that can easily be inserted with a single plug, while tamper-resistant outlets require both slots to be inserted at the same time, making them more difficult for children to open. This double protection system ensures that outlets are only used for their intended purpose – providing electricity to connected devices.

You may be wondering why we have not been using tamper-resistant outlets all along. After all, isn’t safety always a top concern when it comes to electrical systems? The truth is, tamper-resistant outlets were first introduced in the early 2000s as a requirement in the National Electric Code (NEC) for newly constructed homes. In 2017, the requirement was expanded to include residential renovations and replacements as well. This means that if your home was built before the early 2000s, chances are, you do not have tamper-resistant outlets installed.

So, if you are looking to upgrade the outlets in your home, it is highly recommended to opt for tamper-resistant outlets. Additionally, if you are planning any renovations or replacing outlets, it is important to comply with the current code and have tamper-resistant outlets installed by a licensed electrician.

In addition to their added safety features, tamper-resistant outlets are also more energy-efficient than traditional outlets. The shutters provide a tighter fit for plugged-in devices, resulting in less energy loss and ultimately, saving you money on your energy bills. This is especially beneficial in today’s world where energy conservation is becoming increasingly important.

Tamper-resistant outlets are an innovative, modern version of the traditional outlets that we are accustomed to. They offer an added layer of safety, particularly for homes with young children, while also being more energy-efficient. As licensed electricians, we highly recommend upgrading to tamper-resistant outlets for your home. Not only will you have peace of mind knowing that your family is safe, but you will also contribute to a more energy-efficient home.


Tamper-Resistant Outlets,

Standard Outlets,

Electrical Safety.