Are Your Outlets Safe?

Some of you may be familiar with the Blue Collar comedian Jeff Foxworthy. In one of his performances I can recall him talking about the lack of safety around his house. He mentioned the new television stacked on top of the old television, playing with lawn darts, and getting a wood burning kit as a gift. He also tells a story in which his father encouraged him to go ahead and stick the penny he had into an outlet to find out what would happen. While he made this situation funny, it is a dangerous situation that occurs far too often and can result in serious injury or death.

Many retail stores sell plastic inserts that you can plug into outlets that are intended to prevent kids from inadvertently inserting small metal objects into outlets. However, there is a much safer alternative. By 2010, the National Electric Code of requiring tamper resistant outlets had been adopted by 33 states on a state wide level (including Georgia) and in local jurisdictions in 5 other states.

Tamper resistant outlets are definitely the safest product on the market to protect kids from electrical dangers. These outlets have a built in shutter system that prevents objects from entering the outlets unless both sides of the outlet are pressed. Unlike the plastic inserts which can be unplugged or forgotten, these outlets offer automatic, continuous, and permanent protection against electrical shocks or burns.

If your home was built before the code change was enforced by inspectors an update is very simple because the wiring in your home should be capable of supporting the new outlets. This update should be completed by a licensed electrician and at a fairly inexpensive cost.

The last thought I will leave you with is that while these outlets look the same as your current outlets this is not a cosmetic upgrade. This is a safety upgrade which is highly recommended by electricians and will also bring your house up to current National Electric Code requirements.

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