An important part of keeping your home maintained and safe is knowing what to look for when it comes to updating your electrical outlets. Since 2008, National Electrical Code requires that new and renovated dwellings have tamper-resistant receptacles, or TRRs. Designed to prevent children from inserting objects into outlets, TRRs have spring-loaded shutters that close off the receptacles’ contact openings (slots). When a plug is inserted straight into the receptacle, both springs are compressed and the shutters open. But, if someone attempts to insert an object into only one opening, the shutters do not open and there is no contact with electricity. source
But if your home was built or renovated since 2008, you may not know what lies behind the outlets in your home. Discolored, buzzed or charred outlets are a sign that a dangerous electrical fire could occur. Loose wires behind the outlet can lead to an electrical arc that can burn up as far as 1500 to 1800 degrees.
Look for the following important clues to determine if it’s time to update your electrical outlets:
- brownish or blackish looking discolored outlets or sockets
- the smell of smoke or of burning
- sockets that are loose and / or won’t hold a plug
- sparks when something is plugged or unplugged
- lights that frequently flicker or stop working unexplainably
- a circuit breaker that trips frequently
A professional electrician knows these are dangerous signs and knows immediately what to do with them. Pulling the plug or turning an electrical item off will not stop a fire that’s already starting.
Contact the professionals at Got Watt’s Electric today for an inspection of your home’s electrical outlets and wiring.