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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

How Do Your Electrical Outlets Protect You?

outletDid you know that your electrical outlets protect you? At least, this is definitely the case in modern homes. This is part of the reason it’s so important that if you live in an aging home, you have your electrical system inspected on occasion. Today’s electronics and electrical appliances put increased demand on these systems, which can lead to overloads, blackouts, or even electrical fires.

Even in a newer home, safety becomes a concern if, for some reason, your electrical system isn’t working as it should. Electrocution is another threat when it comes to electricity dangers, which is why it’s so vital that you have the right outlets in place—outlets that protect you. What outlets are we talking about? GFCI and AFCI outlets! Read on to learn more.

GFCI and AFCI Outlets

Electrocution and even small electrical fires can start when there’s a short circuit that exposes a person or home material (like drywall or wood) to the electrical current being produced by the system.

Home fires are a relatively common threat that’s caused by electrical current traveling in ways that it is not supposed to. One way to prevent this is with the right outlets, either a GFCI or an AFCI outlet.

  • GFCI Outlets: GFCI is an acronym for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and this kind of outlet monitors the current flowing through it at all times. If the current suddenly starts flowing in a way that it shouldn’t—like into a person, for example—the GFCI outlet will activate and cut off all the current flowing through it. This happens so fast that it occurs before a harmful amount of electricity passes through the system. These outlets are means for areas of your home that have water exposure. This includes your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, namely.
  • AFCI Outlets: These are similar to GFCI outlets, but these Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters protect against house fires. They do this by monitoring the electrical flow within the system itself. If the outlet detects anything malfunctioning throughout the circuit, it breaks that circuit in order to prevent further risk. These outlets are very useful in preventing many threats that electrical malfunctions can create.

Other Ways to Protect Your Electrical System

Having the right outlets installed in the right locations of your home is essential to household safety, but this isn’t the only way to protect your electrical system or your family. The electrical panel is an important safety feature too! But it must be checked on a regular basis—we recommend once a year—to ensure that it is still able to meet the demands being placed on it.

Generally speaking, if your electrical panel is 30+ years old, it’s ready for an upgrade. This is because of those increased electrical demands that we mentioned above.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment with a professional electrician in Cedar Rapids, IA or one of the surrounding communities, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online.

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