Did you know that every year, thousands of children across the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by tampering with household electrical outlets? You’re probably familiar with the plastic outlet inserts which are commonly used to childproof outlets. Unfortunately, these inserts can be removed, leaving outlets exposed and children in danger. Luckily, childproofing technology has come a long way, and childproof outlets are a new option that can be used to protect your children.
Called tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRs), these childproof outlets look like a regular outlet. Instead of a removable plastic cover to block the entrance, these childproof outlets use a spring-loaded cover to close off the slots. When equal pressure is applied to both slots, like when you insert a plug to an electrical device, the cover opens, allowing standard plugs to make contact. Without equal pressure being applied simultaneously to both sides, the cover will not open. To see how these childproof outlets work, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International for a visual guide.
When these childproof outlets are in place, children cannot insert objects into a single side, which is how most outlet accidents occur. The following are items which are commonly involved with these accidents:
- The child’s fingers
- Pins, screws, and nails
- Paper clips
- Tools like tweezers, files, or knives
As of 2008, the National Electrical Code requires these outlets to be used for all new home construction. They have been in use for much longer; childproof outlets have been required in pediatric hospital settings for more than 20 years. The equipment itself isn’t much more expensive than standard electrical outlets, which makes installing tamper-resistant childproof outlets a smart choice for your home. Anytime electricity is involved, it’s important to have a licensed electrician perform the task for your safety.
Protect the ones you love at home by switching to tamper-resistant childproof outlets. Call Frye Electric today; our skilled team of electricians will install your new outlets properly, ensuring safe use and protection.