If your Lakeland home was constructed before 2008 there is a good chance that it does not have tamper-resistant (also known as childproof) receptacles. In 2008 the National Electrical Code (NEC) required every new or renovated home include tamper-resistant receptacles. If your house was built or remodeled after 2008, then you most likely have tamper-resistant receptacles, but you should be sure of it. How can you tell if your home has tamper-resistant receptacles? A closer look is needed to understand what tamper-resistant receptacles are and how you can tell if you have one.
The concept behind tamper-resistant receptacles was that the old plastic covers for outlets were not enough to stop small children from accessing them. The old covers easily slid out which allowed a butter knife, paper clip, etc. just as easy to slide into the outlet. With tamper-resistant receptacles there is no cover on the exterior of the outlet; instead, it is on the inside. An internal cover over the interior of the slots on the outlet can only be moved when both slots are compressed, in other words when a plug is inserted and not say a screw or nail. You can easily tell if the receptacles in your home are tamper proof. Unlike traditional electrical outlets, you will be able to see the “shutters” in a tamper proof receptacle. Inside the slots of the tamper resistant receptacle, an opaque white piece of plastic will be visible. There will be no plastic covering in the opening for a ground prong.
If you have children under the age of five in your home, you need to have tamper-resistant receptacle if you do not have them already. You will also want to make sure that your home is equipped with tamper-resistant outlets if you have grandchildren or children who regularly visit your home. If you run a daycare center, it is vital that you have a tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent children from being electrocuted in your facility and to limit your liability.
A child can be severely burned or worse if they receive a significant shock from an outlet. The best reason to make sure your Central Florida home or business has tamper-resistant receptacles is to ensure the safety of little ones and to give you peace of mind.
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