GFCI Outlets For Home Safety

GFCI InstallationWhy Should You Have GFCI Outlets?

A ground fault circuit interruptor, or GFCI outlet for short, is a device that shuts off the electrical power to a circuit/outlet when it detects even the smallest change in current. GFCI outlets are installed in areas that are close to water. They are found in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and your outdoor outlets. 

Apart from being required by law (The National Electric Code requires all homes to be equipped with GFCI protection), there are numerous advantages to installing GFCI outlets in and around your home including protecting your home, family, and possessions. Let’s look at three of the more obvious advantages of GFCI outlets.

Personal Safety

It should go without saying, but let’s say it anyway…GFCI outlets can save lives. It is reported that 300 electrocutions and thousands of burns and electrical shock injuries occur each year in the home. A properly installed GFCI can prevent an estimated two-thirds of these injuries. When the GFCI senses that the current is flowing alone unintended or unusual paths, such as water or yourself or a loved one, the outlet shuts off. Although these outlets can be slightly more expensive that standard outlets, the cost is outweighed a million times over by the benefit of protecting yourself and others from accidental electrocution.

Fire Safety

Detection of ground faults is the primary function of a ground fault circuit interruptor. When the flow of electricity leaves the circuit, not only can it cause electrocution and burns, but it can also cause electrical fires in the home. Fuses and circuit breakers can also provide fire protection in the home, but when a GFCI outlet is added to the mix, the protection is compounded and you never have to worry about electrical fires harming your home or family.

Property Safety

Another function of a GFCI is to detect leaking of electricity. Sometimes electric current can begin to leak into older appliances and electronics. You may not even know it is happening unless the outside of the appliance is metal and gives you a shock. Leakage like this can damage your equipment as time passes. GFCI outlets, since they shut down the circuit as soon as they detect leakage, can help protect your expensive equipment and appliances.
When you look at these three basic advantages, installation of GFCI outlets is really a no-brainer. If something as simple as new outlets can protect yourself, your family, your home, and your possessions, there is no question about the benefits. However, installation of GFCI outlets is not as simple as taking the old outlet off and putting in a new one. Contact a licensed professional electrician to discuss your needs and requirements.