The Electrical Safety Foundation (ESFI) is the top non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety at home and at work, and they also educate homeowners about how important Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are for the prevention of electric shock and electrocutions.
Studies by the Consumer Product Safety Commission have found that approximately half of home electrocutions that would have occurred were prevented by GFCIs since they were introduced in 1973.
A GFCI is an electrical safety device designed to trip an electrical circuit whenever it detects ground faults or leakage currents. A person in a current’s path will suffer serious shock or electrocution. By rapidly cutting off power to the circuit after it detects electricity flowing into the circuit differing from the one returning, a GFCI outlet will prevent potentially fatal shock.
Required GFCI Areas at Home
All outdoor and indoor areas where water can potentially make contact with electrical systems or devices should have GFCIs. The NEC (National Electrical Code) requires that GFCIs be installed in bathrooms, garages, kitchens, outdoors, and within 3 feet of every sink.
Although the NEC has required GFCIs since 1973, the code is only applicable to new construction. If you happen to own an older home, electrical improvements may be needed to ensure that you and your family are safe.
Regular Testing & Professional Installation
In order to ensure GFCIs are working properly, they should be tested every month. Even though almost every adult is capable of testing a GFCI, a licensed electrician should be consulted if it is not working properly. It is the ESFI’s recommendation that only a qualified professional should repair a unit.
Call a licensed electrician to perform a safety inspection of your home to ensure GFCIs are installed in the required locations. For more information regarding electrical safety and code requirements, you can visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International website: ESFI
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:
- Standby Generator Installation
- Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
- Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
- Structured Cabling
- Circuit Breaker Replacement
Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.