Buffalo, NY & Suburban Amherst NY Homes Offer Electrical Safety For Children
A report recently indicated that seven children per day are the victims of burns associated with electrical shock throughout the US. These burns are the result of metal objects pushed into the electrical outlet and coming in contact with the power source. A New York law passed in 2008 and affecting Western New York homeowners, required all newly constructed homes to be equipped with Tamper Resistant Outlets (TRO’s) or, in some circles they are called Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR’s). The average home has as many as 75 outlets, so you can see the opportunities for children to find just one unprotected outlet is pretty good.
How TRO’s Differ From A Standard Electrical Outlet
These outlets look very much like a standard three-prong outlet, except for one major difference. While a standard outlet has two slots and the ground lug portion, these outlets have a spring-loaded “door” behind the slots. When a single object is pushed into the TRO, the door blocks entrance into the outlet’s wires and saves injury. In a standard outlet a key or bobby pin can be easily pushed into the slot and come in contact with the wires and cause shock, possible burns or worse.
Tamper Proof or Tamper Resistant?
The Electrical industry is careful to use the term “tamper resistant” rather than “tamper proof.” While these devices will protect children from shock and possible burns, they can never prevent injury. Some kids are just going to persist and find a way to get behind the protective walls of even the best defenses. However, TRO’s are still undeniably better than those plastic caps that adults place over the outlet. Kids find a way to remove them (they watch us!); or adults fail to place them back in the slots. Whatever the reason, new devices like these take the fear out of potential hazards for our little ones.
So What Can The Homeowner Do To Protect His Home and Children?
Swapping out unprotected outlets for TRO’s is a fairly simple process, but it is not without risk especially for a DIY’er. Professional electricians know how to turn off the power to the outlets that you are changing. There is no change to the outlet shape or issues with the finished look on the wall after the outlet is changed. Once it is done you can rest assured that the outlet will not pose a hazard to kids or grandkids.