The Facts on Tamper-Resistant Outlets

February 5, 2015 by Valerie Griffiths

tamper resistant outletElectrical safety is important for everyone, but especially so for parents, grandparents and caretakers of young children. Little ones can be wonderfully curious! And they seem to get their little hands on everything. There is no way for them to know the danger that electricity can present so it’s key to be proactive.

Below, Griff Electric’s Sean Griffiths fills us in on tamper-resistant electrical outlets and why they can be an important addition in the home.

Q: So what are tamper-resistant outlets, anyway?
A: Tamper resistant receptacles (TRRs) look like traditional outlets, but you can’t insert anything unless a two-prong plug is evenly inserted into the outlet. They contain spring-loaded cover plates to automatically block the slots. TRRs are designed to compress and allow standard plugs through but they prevent children from inserting anything into the sockets like hairpins, keys or other common household items kids get their hands on!

Q: Whom do tamper-resistant outlets benefit?
A: They keep kids safe from sticking items or their fingers into the outlets and offer caregivers the peace of mind that comes with knowing the little ones are protected. TRRs are important for families, but also for businesses, daycare centers and other public spaces where children spend time. They’re actually required by the National Electric Code in all new and renovated properties.

Q: What makes tamper-resistant outlets safer than other protective outlet covers?
A: You may have seen the plastic outlet plugs or caps that fit into unused sockets. If a child pulls one out, it can present a choking hazard, as well as an electrical hazard. TRRs offer built-in, long-term protection.

Q: Is it expensive to switch to tamper-resistant outlets?
A: TRRs might sound fancy but they are extremely affordable. And there’s no need to spend additional money on childproofing items since safety is built right into your outlet.

Q: Where can I learn more?
A: The National Fire Protection Association has a lot of great information on TRRs and preventing child injury.

The bottom line: Tamper-resistant outlets are a recent addition to the safety scene and go a long way in protecting little ones from burn, shock and other injury. Your licensed electrician can easily switch your outlets so you have one less thing to worry about.