Choosing the Right Outlet

Home Electrical Outlets with Safety Features

There is never a wrong time to give a home’s electrical outlets a closer look for safety. Homeowners might have noticed that some of their home’s outlets differ in function and appearance. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), childproof outlets, and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) are the outlets with safety features that are most commonly found in homes. Each of these outlets serves a particular function that helps ensure the safety of a home and its occupants.

AFCI Outlets

An arc fault often happens when electrical wiring, devices, or appliances are damaged, overheated, or under other stress. The most frequent causes of arc faults are old, cracked, frayed electrical wires, overloaded outlets or circuits, or when a screw or nail pierces a wire through a wall. Arc faults are a cause of electrical fires. 

This is why having AFCI outlets in a home is essential. They literally “interrupt” an arc fault, living up to their name. An AFCI outlet will trip – or interrupt the power – when it detects a dangerous situation to protect against fires. They are typically required in rooms like family rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. 

GFCI Outlets

outletsGFCI outlets have a unique design that guards against overheating electrical systems and appliances. Additionally, it protects homeowners from dangerous electric shocks. All homeowners must install ground fault circuit interrupters in their homes in accordance with the National Electric Code. GFCI outlets are typically located in damp or frequently wet areas of houses like bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outdoor spaces.

According to research, one of the leading causes of electrical fires is leaking electrical current. This could be brought on by outdated wiring, deteriorating insulation, or frayed wiring. However, GFCI outlets are known to reduce the risk significantly. Homeowners can ensure that a steady power supply flows through their appliances by installing a GFCI outlet in their homes. The outlet will trip automatically if there is even a tiny electricity leak to protect all devices from damage.

Childproof Outlets

outletsA typical wall outlet has two plugs on its face, where homeowners can connect any compatible electrical device. These plugs typically have three holes: a large hole below the center and two small vertical slots. The neutral and hot slots in standard outlet sockets are not blocked by anything, making it a hazard for young children. 

Children frequently try to insert objects into these holes, which can be extremely dangerous. This is why childproof outlets are so important. On childproof outlets, the neutral and hot slots are shielded by a cover on the inside of the outlet, which helps to address this safety concern. 

The cover can only be removed by simultaneously pressing down with the two prongs inserted in both slots while a device is plugged in. Retracting the covers will allow homeowners to plug devices in like a regular outlet, but once the plug is removed, the cover springs back into place.

About Southwest Florida Electric Inc.

Southwest Florida Electric Inc. is a family-owned and operated business serving Fort Myers, FL, and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, financing options, and the latest technology. Call them today for electrical outlet services in Fort Myers, FL