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Getting the Right Kind of Outlet

Three Outlets With Specific Safety Features

There’s nothing more important than protecting the home and those who live in it. Unfortunately, despite all the safety improvements and minimum standards on proper use, electricity is still responsible for significant injuries or deaths every year. What’s worse is one can almost always prevent these injuries and deaths. 

And the best way to prevent shocks and electrical fires is to ensure the right electrical outlet for the home’s needs. When outlets are improperly installed, old, or the wrong kind, it can leave room for accidents that can have devastating results. Luckily, selecting the right outlet isn’t hard for homeowners who do a little research. Read on to find out all about three types of outlets with specific safety features. 


AFCI stands for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter. These outlets are designed to detect an electrical arc and then shut off the outlet before the arc can cause damage. But what is an arc, and what causes them? Arcs, also called arc flashes, happen when the electrical current “jumps” between two conductors. When these jumps happen, they can create extremely high temperatures and an interaction with particulates in the air. In short, they can cause electrical fires. 

One of the most common causes of arc flashes is frayed or damaged wiring. This can be caused by a rodent chewing on electrical wiring, an errant screw or metal damaging wires within the walls, or even faulty installation. Arcing can also happen because of faulty equipment or when an electrical panel gets damaged or left open by accident. Luckily, properly installed AFCI outlets can eliminate the risk of arcing.


GFCI outlets are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These protect against ground faults that can transfer electricity from the wiring into a person or persons. These are common (and required by code) in any room with water access. Water, after all, is a great conductor of electricity. So electric shock is more likely to happen in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms than in other house rooms. GFCI outlets can detect this and shut off the flow of electricity quickly. In addition to being required in those rooms with access to water, they’re also required on the home’s exterior, next to the pool or hot tub, and in the garage. 

Childproof Outlets

Childproof outlets are fairly self-explanatory. Neither of the above electrical outlets can prevent electrical shock when a child sticks an object into an outlet. This is important, as young children tend to be very curious, and watching them for every moment of the day is impossible. Fortunately, childproof outlets are cheap, easy, and convenient.

Tamper-resistant receptacles are childproof outlets with shutters over the prong holes that won’t open unless equal pressure is applied to each shutter simultaneously. This means plugging in a plug for an electrical appliance is still simple. But sticking something in just one of the holes or applying unequal pressure to both holes will prevent the shutters from moving. Like all outlets, these should be installed by a professional electrician for ultimate safety. 

About Edison Electric, Inc.

Edison Electric, Inc. has been serving Minneapolis, MN, since 2007. Their technicians always arrive in fully stocked trucks to finish the job the first time. They also provide upfront pricing and hassle-free scheduling for homeowner convenience. Contact them today for electrical outlet service in Minneapolis, MN.