Difference Between Tamper Resistant Outlets
Electrical safety is a crucial aspect for any homeowner, especially in today’s world where we are heavily reliant on electronic devices. In the United States, an average of 51,000 home fires annually are caused by electrical failures or malfunctions, resulting in an average of 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. As a responsible homeowner in the Downtown Providence, Rhode Island area, it is important to ensure that our homes are equipped with the necessary safety features, including tamper resistant outlets.
At B&K Electric, we understand the significance of electrical safety and have been serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We offer a wide range of electrical services, including repair, panel maintenance, and installation, and our goal is to provide our customers with the highest level of customer service and satisfaction. In this article, we will discuss the difference between tamper resistant outlets and why they are an essential addition to your home.
What Are Tamper Resistant Outlets?
Tamper resistant outlets, also known as TR outlets, are electrical outlets equipped with built-in safety features that prevent foreign objects from being inserted into the slots. These outlets have been mandated by the National Electrical Code (NEC) since 2008 for installation in all new and renovated residential buildings. As of 2017, the requirement has also been extended to include non-residential buildings.
This safety measure was implemented in response to the increasing number of electrical injuries among children in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of seven children per day are treated for injuries caused by electrical outlets, with 75% of these injuries resulting from small children inserting objects into the slots of standard outlets.
The Importance of Tamper Resistant Outlets
Tamper resistant outlets are designed to keep children safe from electrical hazards by blocking any object from coming into contact with the live components within the outlet. But they also play a crucial role in protecting adults from electrical accidents. In older homes, standard outlets may be worn out or have loose connections, increasing the risk of electrocution or electrical fires. With tamper resistant outlets, these risks are greatly reduced as they are designed with self-closing shutters that only open when equal pressure is applied to both slots simultaneously.
In addition to preventing electrical accidents, tamper resistant outlets also offer other benefits, such as improved energy efficiency and a longer lifespan. They are also more durable and can withstand heavy usage, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
What Sets Tamper Resistant Outlets Apart?
At first glance, tamper resistant outlets may look similar to standard outlets, but there are a few key differences that set them apart. The most notable difference is the presence of shutters over the slots. These shutters are made of a spring-loaded wire that prevents foreign objects from being inserted into the outlet. The shutters only open when equal pressure is applied to both slots simultaneously, such as when a plug is inserted.
Another noticeable difference is the labeling on the outlets. Tamper resistant outlets are clearly labeled with the letters “TR” stamped on the face of the outlet, indicating that they are tamper resistant. This makes it easy for homeowners to identify them during installation or replacement.
In addition to these physical differences, tamper resistant outlets also undergo stringent testing to meet the safety standards of the NEC. This testing includes resistance to insertion of probes, impact testing, temperature rise testing, and cord anchorage testing. These tests ensure that tamper resistant outlets are safe and reliable for everyday use.
Installation of Tamper Resistant Outlets
Tamper resistant outlets can be installed by a licensed electrician or by homeowners themselves, but it is highly recommended to seek professional help for any electrical work. Installing tamper resistant outlets requires some knowledge of electrical wiring, and a licensed electrician has the necessary expertise and tools to ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely.
When installing tamper resistant outlets, it is important to ensure that all outlets in the home have this safety feature. This includes outlets in bedrooms, living areas, and even outdoor outlets. It is also essential to regularly check the outlets for any signs of wear and tear and replace them if necessary.
Tamper resistant outlets are an essential safety feature for any home. They provide protection against electrical hazards for both children and adults, while also offering other benefits such as energy efficiency and durability. As a family-owned and operated electrical business, safety is our top priority at B&K Electric, and we highly recommend the installation of tamper resistant outlets for all our customers. With over seventeen years of experience, we are dedicated to providing our customers in the Downtown Providence, Rhode Island area with quality electrical services and ensuring the safety of their homes.