Promote Electrical Safety at Home With Childproof Outlets
According to Electrical Safety Foundational International (ESFI), nearly 2,400 children suffer serious electrical shocks and burns yearly from sticking things into electrical outlets. These incidents often arise when they stick foreign objects into the slots of outlets, such as utensils, paper clips, toys, and their fingers. Thankfully, worried parents can protect their children against these incidents by installing childproof and tamper-resistant outlets. This post will discuss these outlets, including how they work and their benefits.
What Is a Tamper Resistant Outlet? How Does It Work?
A tamper-resistant outlet is exactly what it sounds like; it prevents children from tampering with the outlet and hurting themselves. They have spring-loaded shutters that only allow a plug’s prongs to pass through since the shutters must be activated simultaneously to open. Another common childproofing tool for outlets is the pieces of plastic that plug into the outlet and prevent anything else from getting in.
There are also sliding outlet covers. The sliding outlet cover has a plate that slides over the outlet, then locks into place. When adults want to plug something in, they must unlock the cover and slide it over. This also deters young children from sticking their fingers or other objects into the outlets.
What Are the Benefits of Installing Childproof Outlets?
Childproof outlets have one obvious and significant benefit. It prevents children from suffering electrical-related injuries. Additionally, these outlets are more beneficial than plastic outlet caps. Children can learn to remove the plastic outlet plugs from the outlet, and once removed, they can become a choking hazard.
On the other hand, tamper-resistant outlets don’t present a choking hazard while protecting children from shocks and burns, making them the safer option for childproofing the home. No parent can watch their child every minute of every day. Having tamper-resistant outlets installed around the house offers parents peace of mind that their little ones are protected from electrical hazards.
When Is It Time to Replace an Old Outlet?
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) notes that homeowners should replace an outlet if a plug feels loose in the outlet and is not snug because it’s an electrical hazard and poses the risk of an electrical fire. Other signs that it’s time to replace an outlet include:
- The outlet isn’t working
- The outlet feels hot or warm to the touch
- There are scorch marks, discoloration, melted areas, or other damage on the outlet
- Sparks or smoke is coming from the outlet
About Trustworthy Electric
Trustworthy Electric is a family-owned company with nearly three decades of experience serving Montgomery and the surrounding communities. They provide upfront pricing, on-time service, and military discounts. Call them today for childproof outlet installation in Montgomery, AL.
What Outlets Come with Safety Features?
Electrical Safety Foundation International has some startling facts about electrical fires. It notes that there are around 51,000 electrical fires nationwide each year. These fires cause countless injuries and unfathomable property damage. This makes it crucial for homeowners to know the differences between electrical outlets and which ones keep the home safe. Three outlets that come with safety features to protect the house and its inhabitants include:
AFCI Outlets (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)
AFCI outlets are ideal for helping to prevent electrical fires. Here’s a brief overview of how these devices work:
- AFCI outlets monitor the flow of electricity.
- Sometimes, a phenomenon called arcing happens. This is when electricity jumps from one wire to another––increasing the risk of electrical fires.
- AFCI outlets sense abnormal activity and immediately stop the flow of electricity to prevent arcs from generating enough heat to start a fire.
With protection against electrical fires, homeowners can rest easy knowing their house is safe. Outlet installations are best left to the professionals. A trained electrician can install a new outlet while keeping the rest of the home’s electrical grid up to code.
GFCI Outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
GFCI outlets are the outlets with the “reset” and “power” buttons. While AFCI outlets specialize in reducing electrical fires, GFCIs reduce the likelihood of electrical shocks and electrocution. GFCI outlets are typically required in spaces with water, like kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces. Here’s a brief overview of how GFCIs work:
- GFCI outlets monitor the amount of electricity flowing into and out of the circuit.
- If the electricity flowing into the circuit differs from the amount leaving, the outlet will quickly shut off power to the circuit to prevent shocks.
When homeowners want to restore power to the outlet, they can press the “reset” button. Then, they should be able to use the outlet as normal. However, if the outlet keeps turning off, that means too much electricity is in the system. Homeowners should consult a professional if they notice this problem.
Children account for 20 percent of all electrocution-related injuries. These incidents can lead to traumatic brain injuries, nerve damage, and burns. Parents should consider the benefits of installing childproof outlets even if their child has never shown interest in an outlet before. All it takes is one simple “experiment” to result in life-altering injuries.
Childproof outlets rely on springs and only allow prongs from electrical devices to enter the outlet, preventing children from being able to stick anything in the outlet and hurt themselves. They do not allow these objects to enter the outlet and form an electrical current:
- Bobby pins
- Fork tines
- Paper clips
About Trustworthy Electric
Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving its neighbors in Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and military discounts. Call them today for outlet repair and replacement in Montgomery, AL.
Be Fang-Tastically Fashionable With Magical Lights and Halloween Trees
Back off Christmas, it’s Halloween season! The hottest new craze in decorating for the spooky season includes festive orange and black lighting and terrifyingly trendy Halloween trees. Homes across the country are decorating their yards and living rooms with kooky ornaments, creepy lights, and haunting embellishments. With the arrival of fun, new trends come a slew of new in-home demands. Many new decorations require an electrical outlet to function. Is the house ready for the challenge? Read on to find out more about prepping the house for the season of fright and lights.
Consider Outlet Upgrades
Outlets take a lot of heat in their time of use. Every time something is plugged in or unplugged, the outlet experiences a bit of wear and tear. Overtime, connectivity between the outlet and plugs will be reduced before the outlet finally gives out. Consider replacing and upgrading electrical outlets when any of the following starts to happen:
- The Outlets Are...Vintage: If the home’s outlets are beginning to fall into the “retro” category, it’s time to retire them. The older the outlet, the more likely they are to be worn down. Older outlets also aren’t capable of keeping up with most modern appliances’ demands for power. Upgrading these units even if they aren’t damaged, will increase the efficiency of the home’s electrical system.
- The Outlet is Warped: If the electrical outlet has become discolored or is starting to crack, it needs to be replaced. Warped and damaged units pose a danger to a home’s occupants and are no longer considered safe for use.
- The Outlets are Ungrounded: Most modern homes are built with grounded outlets, but many older homes have only a few or sometimes no grounded outlets. This particular type of outlet provides an extra path for electricity to travel through via the third prong. This extra path prevents short circuits and makes the outlets safer for the home.
Understanding the Two Types of Electrical Outlets (GFCI and AFCI)
Most homes use one of two types of electrical outlets, either GFCI or AFCI outlets.
- GFCI Outlets: GFCI stands for “ground fault circuit interrupter.” These types of outlets are legally required to be used in any home area with a higher risk of electric shocks. They are typically found in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. These units detect an imbalance in electrical currents and will shut off when one is detected. They are more sensitive than older units and protect against electrocution.
- AFCI Outlets: AFCI stands for “arc-fault circuit interrupters.” These units primarily protect the home from excessive heat caused by arcing currents of electricity. Devices that overheat or have damaged wires are common causes of arcing currents in a house’s electrical system. The AFCI units detect any dangerous arcs and shut down the receiving outlet when they are detected. These units are typically installed as a type of circuit breaker and are often found in living spaces, such as the bedroom, living room, and kitchen. They are often used in tandem with GFCI to provide the best electrical protection in the home.
Consider Choosing a Professional
Electrical work is no joking matter. Professional electricians are trained to work with dangerous materials and can keep the home safe and secure during their work. Choosing to work with a professional protects the investment of the home, as their work must follow all state and federal guidelines and usually includes a warranty of satisfaction.
By prepping the house’s electrical system using these tips, it’ll be easy to stay fashionably frightening this Halloween. Have fun with the shockingly spooky new trend and know that the house will be safe for every season by following these tips.
About Trustworthy Electric Inc.
For over twenty years, Trustworthy Electric Inc has been helping homeowners with all their electrical needs. Their affordable prices and exemplary work has made them a household name in the community. Contact them today for outlet services in Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas.