Electrical outlets are dangerous in and of themselves but are especially dangerous to small children. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 2,500 children are hurt by electrical outlets every year at a rate of at least seven a day. Generally, these injuries are to children under the age of three and consist of serious burns and other major complications resulting from electric shock. Most often, the injuries occur when small children insert common household objects (hairpins, keys, toys, etc.) into electrical outlets. Many parents attempt to prevent these occurrences by installing “aftermarket” covers and guards. However, these products are inadequate and are often removed because they do not work in conjunction with electrical devices. This is why most homes don’t have any child protection.
Install tamper-resistant outlets with an integrated child protection function. When a tamper-resistant outlet is not in use, internal plastic guards cover the outlet openings. The guards will not open unless an electrical plug is inserted into the outlet. Therefore, the outlet will not accept keys, hairpins, or any other object a child might put into one of the openings. The guards are designed so that they do not interfere with everyday outlet use and are basically invisible. Surprisingly, these outlets have been around for quite some time but are generally only installed in doctor’s offices and daycare centers.
The New Law
In 2009, Georgia started enforcing the 2008 National Electrical Code change for residential electrical outlets. The new code adopts the nationally recognized tamper-resistant outlets and requires that they are installed in all residential dwellings permitted in 2009 or beyond. Thrasher Electric is a 100 percent compliant company. This means we have been following this new code change since January 1, 2009, and every outlet we install is tamper-resistant.
Tamper Resistant Outlets
If your home was built before 2009, chances are you do not have tamper-resistant outlets. Check your outlets by looking at the openings for an internal plastic cover (they are easy to spot). If you see any metal inside the openings, instead of plastic covers, you have outdated electrical outlets. If you have small children (or ever have small children in your home), are planning to sell your home, or if you simply want to be code compliant, look into getting new tamper-resistant outlets! The best way to get tamper-resistant outlets is to call a Certified Electrician (like us!) to replace them. As a bonus, it’s a great opportunity to also upgrade the color and/or style of your home’s devices.