Importance of GFCIs Explained by a Licensed Electrician

Do you know that the staggering two-thirds of all electrocutions happening in homes across the US can be easily prevented by installing the GFCI receptacle? That’s right! When talking about electrical safety measures, we mustn’t fail to mention the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Let’s take a look at the overview of CFCIs and how they can help you and your family stay safe and sound.

What’s the purpose of a GFCI?

The ground-fault circuit interrupter was invented in 1961 by Charles Dalziel, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California. The invention has one main purpose: to prevent ground faults from happening. If electricity escapes the confines of the wiring in a light fixture, appliance or power tool, a ground fault occurs. As a result, electricity takes a shortcut to the ground. Oftentimes, the human body happens to serve as the shortcut, which results in death from electrocution.

As many as 200 people die of ground faults in the US every year, which accounts for two-thirds of all electrocutions happening in US homes annually. Taking a simple precaution such as installing GFCIs around your home can go a very long way in preventing a tragedy.

How does a GFCI work?

Many people wrongly assume that a GFCI does nothing but monitors the flow of electrical current into and out of an electrical appliance or power tool. While it’s true that GFCIs monitor the difference in the current flowing in and out most of the time, they perform a vital action when it’s needed the most – if the difference exceeds 5 milliamps, a GFCI will shut off the electrical flow in less than an instant (more specifically, in .025 second). That is how it prevents ground faults as soon as there is an indication that one is about to happen.

GFCIs requirements by the National Electric Code

As the National Electric Code states, all new kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces and unfinished basements are required to have a GFCI. The same applies to most outdoor receptacles. As for older homes, there are a couple of options. The required areas have to be retrofitted, which is best left to trained electricians who will evaluate the areas and install the most suitable GFCIs to keep your home up to code.

Call a licensed electrician Woodbury NY

If you already have GFCI receptacles, you should have them inspected to see if they are still working properly. GFCI’s delicate circuitry can be damaged by lighting or other power surges so you should call in a reliable electrician serving Woodbury, NY such as Patriot Electric. Not only do we provide top-notch electrical services but also try to educate the community about the importance of electrical safety precautions.

Don’t risk the safety of your family by neglecting the importance of simple devices such as GFCIs – rely on Patriot Electric to take care of all things electrical quickly, efficiently and professionally!


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