During a six year period between 2003 – 2009, more than 360 Canadian children, under the age of six, were injured in accidents involving electrical wall receptacles. The extent of the injuries range from first to third degree burns. But tragically, these electrical injuries also account for an average of four deaths by electrocution each year. Over seventy percent of these incidents occurred in homes where adult supervision was present at the time of the incident. These unfortunate statistics have initiated one of the important changes to the 21st edition of the Canadian Electrical Code, revised for 2009.
The introduction of a tamper resistant receptacle to the general public in a residential environment is a much needed safety measure. Tamper Resistant receptacles are now available on the market and can easily be identified by the TR marking or the words Tamper Resistant. These receptacles are now mandatory in all new residential dwellings except in areas not accessible to small children such as attics and crawl spaces. Tamper Resistant receptacles are preferred over products with caps or sliding covers as caps may be lost, and could also become a choking hazard for certain age groups. Children can learn to master sliding receptacle covers when they watch adults use them. TR receptacles provide security against the insertion of objects other than cord plugs into the energized parts.
The reality is that accidents happen very quickly, even under the most watchful eye. The installation of Tamper Resistant receptacles will reduce the incident of electrical shock and injury in your home.
The TR receptacle will work just like any other electrical outlet except it has a built-in, spring loaded shutter system behind the face plate that closes off the contact openings or slots of the receptacle. When a plug is inserted into the receptacle, both springs are compressed and then open, allowing the metal prongs of the plug to make contact and create an electrical circuit. Because both springs must be compressed at exactly the same time, the shutters will not open when a child attempts to insert an object into only one receptacle opening. Consequently there is no contact with electricity and an injury or tragedy is avoided.
Although TR receptacles are not required for existing homes, parents have been waiting for this technology. In order to provide a safer environment for their children, many homeowners are choosing to replace their existing receptacles with the Tamper Resistant version. The convenience and peace of mind knowing that automatic protection is always in place, whenever a plug is removed, is comforting for anyone who has been entrusted with the care and supervision of a busy toddler.
The installation of Tamper Resistant receptacles are an important step in making your home a safer place for all children. A licensed, certified Blue Crest electrician will be able to assist with this task. Please Contact us here or call us at any of the phone numbers listed on our contact page.
Note: The TR receptacle examples shown here are Pass & Seymour products.