Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

Tamper-Resistant Receptacles, TR Receptacles

Pass & Seymour tamper-resistant receptacles

What P&S wants you to know about Tamper-Resistant Receptacles and the new NEC Code requirements

What does the new Code state?
How did the Code change come about?
How will this Code change affect the industry?
What can you expect from P&S?
Where do most accidents happen?
What types of objects are commonly inserted into receptacles?
How severe are the injuries?
How do tamper-resistant receptacles work?
Are tamper-resistant receptacles 100 percent tamper-proof?
Would tamper-resistant receptacles protect against partial plug insertion?
Is it harder to insert or remove a plug from a tamper-resistant receptacle?
Where's the proof that tamper-resistant receptacles offer greater protection?
How much extra cost will tamper-resistant receptacles likely add to a new house?
Can you retrofit an older house with tamper-resistant receptacles?
Could tamper-resistant receptacles be used in correctional facilities?
Could tamper-resistant receptacles be used instead of GFCIs?
How quickly might states and municipalities adopt the Code?
Where can you go for more information?


What does the new Code state?

The revision, taking effect with the 2008 NEC, is worded as follows:
"406.11 Tamper Resistant Receptacles in Dwelling Units. In all areas specified in 210. 52. all 125-volt. 15- and 20-ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper resistant receptacles.
Substantiation: 210.52 specifies the areas in dwelling units where receptacles shall be installed. This proposal references those areas."

Back to Top

How did the Code change come about?

Child safety presents a major concern for electrical manufacturers, and tamper-resistant receptacles have long been considered the most reliable means of protection. Although not widely used in homes, tamper-resistant receptacles have been required in pediatric care areas for years.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) served as a developing entity for the Code change. NEMA provides a forum for the standardization of electrical equipment, enabling consumers to select from a range of safe, effective and compatible electrical products.

Back to Top


How will this Code change affect the industry?

The Code will have a profound impact on new construction installations, since all 125V, 15A and 20A electrical receptacles in single- and multi-family homes will need to be tamper-resistant.

Back to Top


What can you expect from P&S?

P&S will be prepared, with tamper-resistant versions of all receptacles used in residential installations available in November 2007, to meet customer needs and ensure a smooth transition. P&S already provides an outstanding line of tamper-resistant products. Notable offerings include Tamper-Resistant Hallway Light/Receptacle Combination Devices and Decorator Receptacles, which won the Home Safety Council's Commendation Award in 2006, and the Tamper-Resistant GFCI, which won the 2005 Innovation Award from Electrical Contracting Products.

Back to Top

Where do most accidents happen?

CPSC data indicates about 71 percent of electrical incidents occur at home, with adult supervision typically present.

Back to Top


What types of objects are commonly inserted into receptacles?

Metal objects inserted include, but aren't limited to: paper clips, pens, safety pins, screws and nails, forks, hair pins, keys and coins. The two most common objects, keys and hairpins, represent items children can access easily — objects parents don't often consider dangerous.

Back to Top

How severe are the injuries?

CPSC data indicates about 94 percent of injuries involve burns. These range in severity, but a significant number of serious and fatal incidents result — and even minor injuries can leave emotional trauma. Pediatric burns can be particularly serious, because the skin is thin and offers little resistance to electric flow or heat. With infants and toddlers the frequent presence of saliva creates an ideal environment for electric flow, making burns and scars more severe.

Back to Top

How do tamper-resistant receptacles work?

Tamper-resistant receptacles feature built-in shutter systems that prevent foreign objects from touching electrically live components when they're inserted into the slots. However, the shutters don't impair normal plug insertion, removal or function.

Back to Top

Are tamper-resistant receptacles 100 percent tamper-proof?

Tamper-resistant receptacles have mechanical shutters that prevent insertion of such single-pronged objects as hairpins, keys, and nails. Data show this to be the most common cause of electrical injuries in young children. The devices don't protect against two single-pronged items inserted simultaneously—the shutters would interpret that situation as a two-pronged plug, allowing insertion.

Determined adults and adolescents could potentially bypass the mechanism with significant effort. However, UL test standards ensure integrity and performance under normal circumstances.

Back to Top

Would tamper-resistant receptacles protect against partial plug insertion?

Tamper-resistant receptacles function just like standard receptacles in this situation. Plugs that aren't fully inserted expose portions of the blades that are in contact with the receptacle's live terminals. Under some conditions, the gap between the plug face and receptacle face may be large enough for small fingers to contact these live blades.

Proper ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection would prevent current flow to ground, but preventive measures should be taken to keep small children from playing with and inserting appliance plugs.

Back to Top

Is it harder to insert or remove a plug from a tamper-resistant receptacle?

Recent testing by several device manufacturers found no appreciable difference for insertion and removal forces between tamper-resistant and non-tamper-resistant receptacles. However, bent, damaged, or burred plug blades can make insertion more difficult. To ensure easier insertion and greater safety, users should examine and straighten or replace substandard plug blades.

Back to Top

Where's the proof that tamper-resistant receptacles offer greater protection?

Hospitals have required tamper-resistant receptacles in pediatric wards for more than 20 years. They offer a hard-wired solution for automatic, continuous protection, eliminating the worry of inserting, losing or breaking the protective device. Tamper-resistant receptacles are also UL listed, subjected to intense and documented testing.

Back to Top

How much extra cost will tamper-resistant receptacles likely add to a new house?

NEMA estimates that tamper-resistant receptacles will add less than $50 to the cost of a new home's electrical system. Many parents spend more for a child's car seat!

Back to Top

Can you retrofit an older house with tamper-resistant receptacles?

Absolutely. Tamper-resistant receptacles install like standard ones and are completely interchangeable.

Back to Top

Could tamper-resistant receptacles be used in correctional facilities?

Tamper-resistant receptacles aren't intended to provide full protection against situations encountered in psychiatric or correctional facilities.

Back to Top

Could tamper-resistant receptacles be used instead of GFCIs?

Tamper-resistant receptacles don't replace GFCIs. A GFCI senses current leakage to ground and shuts off power, preventing electrocution. The NEC requires GFCIs, and they should be used in conjunction with tamper-resistant receptacles.

Back to Top

How quickly might states and municipalities adopt the Code?

Most states and municipalities could be expected to adopt the 2008 Code within two years. Historical adoption rates indicate about 50 percent of the states will adopt the Code in 2008, and 80 percent will likely adopt by 2009.

Back to Top

Where can you go for more information?

 

For NEMA Tamper-resistant information and resources:
www.childoutletsafety.org

For manufacturer research and safety statistics:
www.nema.org
For U.S. incident statistics:
www.cpsc.gov/library/neiss.html
For the CPSC data sheet of electrical safety:
www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/524.html
For the State Farm report on home electrical safety:
www.statefarm.com/learning/child_safety/learning_childsafety_elec.asp

Back to Top

 
Close website feedback

1. Thanks for visiting Legrand. How would you rate your overall experience with the Legrand website today?











1 = Poor 10 = Excellent
2. Which best describes you?
ENTER  

Thank you for your input. We truly value your opinion.

As we design to be better at everything we do, we could use your help improving the Legrand website:

(1) How well do the layouts help you find what you are looking for?










1 = Poor 10 = Excellent
(2) How relevant are the search results on our website?










1 = Poor 10 = Excellent
(3) How useful to you is the quality of information on our website?










1 = Poor 10 = Excellent
(4) How likely are you to return to the Legrand website?










1 = Very Unlikely 10 = Very Likely
(5) How critical to your projects or business are Legrand products?










1 = Not Critical 10 = Very Critical
(6) How likely are you to purchase or specify Legrand products within the next 30 days?










1 = Very Unlikely 10 = Very Likely
(7) How likely are you to recommend Legrand to a friend or colleague?










1 = Very Unlikely 10 = Very Likely
Please share any additional comments about your experience with our website below:

Thank you for taking our survey and helping Legrand serve you better.

Privacy Policy   |   SUBMIT & CLOSE

Thank you for your time!