Tamper resistant outlets have been designed for safety, because outlets are tempting toys for unsuspecting children. Each year, approximately 2,400 children suffer severe shock and burns when they stick items into the slots of electrical receptacles. It has been estimated that there are six to twelve child fatalities a year related to this type of activity.
The 2008 National Electrical Code® required new and renovated dwellings to have tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles. This type of receptacle is built with spring-loaded shutters that close off the slots of the receptacle when it is not being used. When a two- or three-prong plug is inserted into the receptacle, both springs are compressed and the shutters open, allowing the metal prongs to make contact and create an electrical circuit. However, both springs must be compressed at the same time or the shutters do not open. If a child attempts to insert a one-prong item, like a key or a paper clip, into one of the slots, it will not open so there cannot be any contact with electricity.
Tamper resistant outlets are an important step in home safety for children. Homes or apartments built before 2008 might not have TR receptacles, but can be upgraded for a reasonable cost. Replacing a number of them in a grand-parents home might be a good idea to protect children from harm.
If you want advice about your receptacles, or more information on the topic, give us a call at 271-1099. Our experts can take a look at your receptacles and recommend a safe solution for you.
For other ideas about the safety of electrical products, visit this US government site.
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