The Majority of Home Electrocutions Could Be Prevented With Proper GFCI Outlets
Have you ever plugged something into an outlet and felt a small zap? Electricity is a powerful thing. And while that small zap might not have impacted you, it causes thousands of emergency visits a year. According to Environmental Health and Safety, 2400 children show up in emergency rooms each year caused by tampering with wall outlets.
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets were invented in the 1960s and have become a staple in our modern homes. The National Electric Code requires GFCI outlets in all new kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and outdoor receptacles.
GFCI is integrated into many outlets throughout the home as a way to protect you from shock. The GFCI monitors the amount of power going to the device. If it determines too much current is flowing through the circuit, or there’s a sudden loss of current, it switches off power.
GFCI is also designed to protect you in places where water is also a factor. If you accidentally dropped a hairdryer into a sink full of water, for instance, GFCI is designed to detect the interruption in current and stops power. This could save your life.
How do you know if you have GFCI outlets? It’s easy to tell. GFCI outlets have the Test and Reset button built right into the outlet.
While GFCI outlets are required in new builds, if your house is older, retrofitting them into place is a reasonably easy task. You should replace the outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and outdoor spaces. Also, consider adding them to laundry rooms, garages, and other areas where safety is a concern. We can help you install them and ensure they are working properly throughout your home.
You should also test them regularly. Plug a light into a GFCI outlet. Push the Test button. If the light stays on, you need to replace the GFCI outlet.
Do you have working GFCI outlets in place?