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3 Signs Telling You to Upgrade Your Outlets

Are you sporting the latest in mobile technology? Smartphones, tablets, and various mobile devices are all the rage these days, going out of date faster than the milk souring in your fridge. And while you’re likely spending a lot of money keeping up with them, it’s a good bet you haven’t bothered keeping up with the outlets that keep them powered for your convenience.

Are you missing these signs your outlets are behind the times?

1. You never have to count higher than two.

The problem:

Besides preventing you from plugging in 3-prong appliances, ungrounded 2-prong outlets present a substantial safety risk: a risk of electrical shock to you, and a risk of frying your expensive electronics.

The solution:

Simply replacing that old 2-pronger for a 3-prong outlet will NOT solve the problem, but instead create an electrocution and appliance hazard. Rewiring the panel with a 3-wire circuit is crucial to providing the necessary ground. You may also consider upgrading to a GFCI , which is less expensive and prevents shock-related issues, but this solution will not provide the necessary ground to protect sensitive electronics.

We bet you didn’t know…

Without properly grounded outlets, surge protection is a no-go. Whether you buy a $10 surge protector or a $200 one, it offers no protection whatsoever to your appliances without adequate ground.

2. You recently had a hair-raising experience in the bathroom.

The problem:

GFCIs protect you from electrical shock in rooms with increased risks, such as those that could be exposed to water. GFCIs are identified by the “test” and “reset” buttons on receptacles. These devices save lives by immediately stopping the flow of current when it travels along an unintended path - such as into you. They are currently required for use with dishwashers, in baths, kitchens, laundries, garages/utility rooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, spa/pool areas, and home exteriors.

The solution:

Upgrade to GFCI outlets. It’s not worth putting your family at risk to postpone this upgrade. Fear not if your home is older. GFCIs work with or without grounding, and are easy and inexpensive to install.

We bet you didn’t know…

The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) estimates the installation of GFCIs in household branch circuits could prevent more than 200 electrocutions and thousands of electrical shocks and burns in and around the home annually.

3. The mixture of small children and electrical outlets in your house scares you.

The problem:

It’s not the mess, the whining, or the drooling, it’s those childproof outlets your home is missing. In older outlets, all a child has to do is stick an object in a single prong to suffer electrical injury. Whether children live with you or only come for the occasional visit, childproof outlets offer inexpensive, effective protection against dangerous electrical shocks and burns resulting from tampering.

The solution:

Adding childproof outlets is a simple and inexpensive child protection solution. Childproof outlets require the use of equal pressure in all prongs of the outlet simultaneously in order to allow for the flow of electricity. They are just as easy to use as traditional plugs for adults, yet still provide essential protection for children. Upgrading to childproof outlets is simple, permanent, and inexpensive, mere pennies more than traditional receptacles. They are so effective that they are now required in all newly built homes.

We bet you didn’t know…

Of the over 2,400 electrical shocks and burns resulting from children toying with outlets annually, 70 percent occur in the presence of adults.

What are you waiting for?

These outlet types are mandated in new homes today because unlike their predecessors, whose main function is merely to deliver electricity, these outlets save lives. Still not convinced? Consider the small cost of upgrading the outlets in your home to the enormous cost of dealing with any of the situations above. You might think your home safe, but is it?

Upgrade your outlets – not your smartphone. They’ve been patient long enough. Contact Mr. Electric® today.