Tamper-Resistant Electrical Receptacles

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Tamper-resistant electrical receptacles prevent injuries by keeping unwanted objects out of electrical sockets.

tamper-resistant electrical receptacles

A tamper-resistant electrical receptacle

Tamper-resistant (TR) electrical receptacles are one of the newest ways to avoid shocks and burns from electrical sockets.  It’s no secret that curious children (and even some unknowing adults) can be harmed by putting unapproved objects into an electrical socket.  One study shows that around 2,400 children are injured this way each year.

Preventing these accidents is the charter of the National Electric Code, one of the leading safety code regulators in the US.  The NEC recently adopted guidelines that require tamper-resistant electrical receptacles be installed in all new and renovated electrical work.  This decreases the likelihood of shocks and burns.

How do tamper-resistant electrical receptacles work?  They have small shutters that keep an electrical socket’s slots closed when not in use.  The spring-loaded shutters only open when both springs are compressed.  This happens naturally when a proper electrical plug is inserted.  Inserting something into only one slot will not open the shutters. This means there is no contact between the object and the electricity inside.  The force needed to insert a plug into a tamper-resistant electrical receptacle is comparable to other types of outlets.  The shutters don’t make the job of plugging in a lamp, appliance, or other device more difficult.

Another advantage of tamper-resistant electrical receptacles is that they provide passive protection for electrical outlets at all times.  You don’t have to worry about socket caps or sliding covers being lost, broken, or taken by crafty toddlers.  This also means you won’t have to hurriedly baby-proof your outlets when you receive a surprise visit from guests with small children!

Adding tamper-resistant electrical receptacles to your electrical projects won’t cut into your budget. Most tamper-resistant electrical receptacles cost about $0.50 more than other types of receptacles.  Completely rewiring an average home (about 75 sockets) means adding less than $40 to your costs. This is a small amount for this added level of safety.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your electrical system and including the addition of tamper-resistant electrical receptacles, give McCauley Electrical Service a call at 678-362-2881.  We’ll be happy to discuss these devices and how they can be added to your home or business.