ESFI Urges Consumers to Prevent Shock by Installing Tamper Resistant Receptacles

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Help prevent the more than 2,400 instances of childhood shock or burn injuries that occur each year as a result of tampering with a wall outlet.

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Although the National Electrical Code only currently requires TRRs to be installed in new homes, it is imperative that homeowners know that this affordable, lifesaving technology can easily be added to older homes.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is urging homeowners to help prevent the more than 2,400 instances of childhood shock or burn injuries that occur each year as a result of tampering with a wall outlet. Installing tamper resistant receptacle (TRR) technology in the home provides an effective, permanent solution for protecting children by preventing the insertion of foreign objects. This awareness effort is part of ESFI’s annual National Electrical Safety Month campaign, which focuses on increasing public awareness of electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.

TRRs replace standard wall outlets and may appear identical on the outside, but they have a built-in shutter system that keeps foreign objects such as hairpins, keys and paper clips from being inserted into the slots. The shutter system still allows plugs to be inserted and removed as usual when equal pressure is simultaneously applied to both sides of the receptacle.

“This year’s National Electrical Safety Month campaign focuses on the latest residential technologies and how to safely integrate them into your existing home electrical system,” said Brett Brenner, president of ESFI. “Although the National Electrical Code only currently requires TRRs to be installed in new homes, it is imperative that homeowners know that this affordable, lifesaving technology can easily be added to older homes.”

TRRs should always be installed by a licensed, qualified electrician, following the same installation guidelines that apply to standard receptacles.

“Even homeowners that don’t have young children should consider installing TRRs for the purpose of protecting visiting friends and family,” added Brenner.

The safety device is also highlighted in ESFI’s new video, “Home Electrical System Safety,” which provides a brief introduction to the different components of a home electrical system. The three-minute video includes tips for identifying electrical safety hazards and explains some of the advanced electrical technologies that can easily be retrofitted into any existing home electrical system, including TRRs, arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

ESFI’s 2012 National Electrical Safety Month campaign, “Be in the Know about the New,” also educates consumers about emerging residential technologies and the electrical hazards associated with them. Among the technologies featured are electric vehicles, solar power, wind power and smart meters. The information can be found in ESFI’s comprehensive National Electrical Safety Month (NESM) Toolkit, which is one of the many safety resources available at no cost on the Foundation’s website.

More information about TRRs and National Electrical Safety Month can be found on ESFI’s website at http://www.electrical-safety.org.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and National Electrical Safety Month, visit http://www.electrical-safety.org.

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