What Is A Tamper Resistant Outlet
Tamper resistant outlets may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of home safety, but they are an essential component for any household. Located in the zip code of 02908 in Elmhurst Providence County, Rhode Island, many homeowners in this area may not be aware of the benefits these outlets provide. That’s where B&K Electric comes in. As a family-owned and operated electrical business in Warwick, RI, we are passionate about educating and protecting our community. With over seventeen years of experience in electrical repair, panel maintenance and installation, we are the go-to electricians for homes and businesses in the Warwick and greater Providence area. Let’s explore why tamper resistant outlets are a must-have for every home.
What is a Tamper Resistant Outlet?
Tamper resistant outlets, or TR outlets, are a type of electrical outlet that provide an extra layer of safety by preventing foreign objects from being inserted into the slots. Designed with spring-loaded shutters, TR outlets have small plastic doors that cover the slots, only opening when equal pressure is applied to both sides of the shutter. This means that a child, or anyone else, cannot insert a small object such as a fork, key, or hairpin, into the outlet and risk electric shock.
Why are Tamper Resistant Outlets Necessary?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 2,400 children suffer severe shocks and burns each year as a result of tampering with electrical outlets. In most cases, these accidents can be prevented with the installation of tamper resistant outlets. As responsible homeowners, it is our duty to protect our loved ones, especially children who are naturally curious and can easily be tempted to explore electrical outlets.
Our homes have more electrical appliances and devices than ever before. From laptops and tablets to smartphones and gaming consoles, the number of outlets in our homes continues to increase. It only takes a moment of distraction for a child to stick an object into an unguarded outlet, potentially causing serious injury or death. With tamper resistant outlets, we can rest assured that our loved ones are safe.
Understanding the Code Requirements
In 2008, the National Electrical Code (NEC) released new requirements for tamper resistant outlets to be installed in all new residential constructions. This was in response to the increasing concern over child electrical injuries. The NEC defines a “new construction” as any building where the methods, materials, and equipment used are being installed for the first time. This includes new homes, apartments, condos, and even rooms being added onto an existing home.
It is important for homeowners to understand that any renovation, upgrade, or replacement of an existing outlet constitutes as new construction. Therefore, it is essential that tamper resistant outlets are installed in these cases as well. As a licensed electrician, B&K Electric is well-versed in the NEC requirements and can ensure proper installation and compliance with the code.
Other Benefits of Tamper Resistant Outlets
While the primary purpose of tamper resistant outlets is to prevent electrical accidents, there are other benefits to consider. TR outlets provide a tight fit for plugs, which reduces the risk of overheating and fire. This also eliminates the need for plastic outlet covers or tamper resistant inserts.
Furthermore, TR outlets provide a more energy-efficient option. Traditional outlets have small gaps between the plug prongs and the outlet, causing a small amount of electricity to travel through the air. This results in a loss of energy and increased utility bills. Tamper resistant outlets have a tighter fit, reducing this loss and ultimately saving households money.
Types of Tamper Resistant Outlets
There are three main types of tamper resistant outlets to choose from: Standard duplex outlets, GFCI outlets, and AFCI outlets. Standard duplex outlets are the most common and can be found in most homes. They have two slots and a round hole for the grounding wire. GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets are equipped with special sensors that prevent electrical shock. These outlets are typically found in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor areas where water is present. AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupter) outlets provide protection against electrical fires caused by damaged wiring, cords, or appliances.
When deciding which type of tamper resistant outlet is best for your home, it is important to consider factors such as location, level of safety needed, and cost. At B&K Electric, we can provide expert advice on the type of outlets best suited for your specific needs.
It is easy to overlook small details that can have a significant impact on our safety. Tamper resistant outlets are often overlooked, but they are a necessary addition to any household. With the potential to save lives and reduce energy costs, these outlets offer a simple yet effective solution to prevent electrical injuries and accidents. As a homeowner, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our loved ones, and tamper resistant outlets are a small but essential step in that process.