Technology is evolving continually. Just when you think you have seen it all, something new comes along that has enhanced functionality. What you may be surprised to learn is that outlets have not been left unchanged by these advancements. New electrical outlets come with a variety of features that older options didn't offer.
Knowing what options are available to you and establishing your household's needs presents the chance to maximise on efficiency in your home. If you are ready to let go of your extension cords, here are some advancements in outlet technology that you should discuss with your electrician.
GFCI and AFCI
While GFCI outlets were optional in years past, they are now mandatory if the outlets will be located near a water source. Thus, it is advisable to begin upgrading your outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms by investing in the GFCI/AFCI alternatives that have two types of technology built into them. GFCI outlets have the primary function of stopping an electrical circuit if moisture is detected, and this helps with minimising the threat of electrocution in your home.
AFCI technology, on the other hand, refers to arc-fault circuit interrupters and works to protect your residence from an electrical fire that could occur due to electrical arcing. Overall, by investing in outlets that have both these technologies, you are increasing the security in your home by protecting your loved ones from shocks and fires.
If you have young kids in the home, you should choose to utilise tamper-resistant outlets as a safety precaution. Unlike conventional outlets, the tamper-resistant variety is designed with receptacle plates that secure the holes in the outlet. The plates are spring-loaded so they will shift to allow you to plug in an appliance. However, they will not budge when someone is trying to insert a key, paper clip or other small metal object.
As an extra measure, you should also prioritise outlets with alarm technology. This tamper-resistant feature is ideal for parents since the outlet will emit an audible sound if your child tries to stick anything inside it. You may also want to deliberate on alarm technology for your GFCI/AFCI outlets. If these sockets fail, the alarm will alert you to an underlying problem.
In addition to the above-mentioned examples, you may also want to consider outlet technology such as USB ports and Wi-Fi outlets, which are especially perfect for individuals that are integrating smart technology in their home. Nightlight outlets are a great option for your children's rooms.
Contact an electrician in your area to learn more.