Home electrical fires are catastrophic.
In the United States, they contribute 280 deaths and an estimated $1 billion in damages each year. Events like these could be prevented by a GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
The explanation for ground faults are paths between a grounded surface and the electrical source. What is a Ground Fault? A common example is when a small appliance is defective and are no longer protected from contact, resulting in a shock or spark that can lead to a fire. These faults are serious and can cause burns, fires, and deadly electrocutions.
What is a GFCI and why are they important?
GFCIs are safety devices that help block the flow of electrical currents from ungrounded sources. GFCI’s can be installed in your home and are most commonly used in kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, etc. They are common in areas where there is water present. Some appliances and cords have built-in GFCI protectors, however, having them installed in your home is more effective.
GFCIs prevent electrical shocks. They have built-in sensors that can block the flow of electricity from appliances. Even if the appliance has a defect, the GFCI will block the electrical current so that you are not shocked by the live wires.
GFCIs block ground faults. Because ground faults are what cause an electrical fire, a GFCI protects your home from this hazard. GFCIs are one of the most basic fire prevention tools you can install in your home.
Appliance Damage Prevention: Expensive appliances such as a refrigerator or washer/dryer unit can be damaged permanently from ground faults. Because insulation of their wires breaks down over time, the leakage of electrical currents could slowly damage the appliance over time. GFCIs prevent this from happening, regardless of insulation breakdown. The second a GFCI detects a leak, it shuts down the circuit and prevents damage.
Only an electrical contractor should install GFCI outlets. Because they are a complex safety device, they should be installed correctly to prevent fires, and appliance damage. Make sure the electrical contractor you are hiring is both licensed and insured. Contact Stevens Electric through our online form or call us (610) 316-9998 to have a free estimate for a GFCI.