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How GFCI Outlet Protection Can Save Your Life

GFCI Installation

What is a GFCI receptacle and why do we need them?

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacle is a special outlet that is used throughout a home in locations that have the potential to become wet or damp. These receptacles are distinguishable from standard outlets with their “Test” and “Reset” button which is easily located at the center of the device.

How does a GFCI receptacle work and how can it save my life?

A GFCI outlet works in the way that it monitors the current coming in on the hot wire and going out on the neutral wire; the two should be equal.

A “Ground Fault” can be defined as any situation when a current in the hot wire travels through any path other than coming back on the neutral. When this happens the device is designed to “Trip”, or in other words, become de-energized within in 5 mili-seconds to save your life. At Allied Electric, we refer to them as life saving devices and they are one of the items of priority in our Safety Evaluation.

We prioritize them in our Safety Evaluation because 47% of all recent electrocutions could have been prevented through GFCI protection, according to The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPC). GFCI protection occurs through either a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI breaker–our trained and skilled technicians can let you know which of the two would be best for your specific needs.

Where should I look for them in my home? Allied’s got you covered!

Below are some of the locations the National Electric Code requires GFCI protection:

  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry areas
  • Outdoors
  • Crawl spaces (at or below grade level)
  • Basements
  • Kitchens (within 6’ of the sink)
  • Any area with sinks or permanent locations where food is prepared

In short, any potential wet or damp location. As you can see, it is critical (and code!) to ensure you have updated GFCI outlets in the proper areas of your home that are less than 7-10 years old. Nothing is more important than keeping you and your family safe, and you can do so by reducing electrical risks in your home.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a Home Safety Evaluation with one of our expert electricians, give us a call at 928-232-4028. We will be more than happy to help you!