Electrical outlets are located in nearly every room in every home in the U.S. They are safety devices which prevent shock, burns, and other injuries. Also, they help prevent fires.
Learn a bit more about outlets including GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) and ACFIs (arc fault circuit interrupters). As a reminder, have all electrical work and repairs performed by a licensed electrician.
GFCIs are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents. A person who becomes part of a path for leakage current will be severely shocked or electrocuted. These outlets prevent deadly shock by quickly shutting off power to the circuit if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a slight amount from that returning.
A GFCI should be used in any indoor or outdoor area where water may come into contact with electrical products.
Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are advanced safety devices that can prevent electrical fires before they even have a chance to start by detecting hazardous arcing conditions.
Many home electrical fires are started by arcing faults. These happen when electrical wiring becomes damaged, stressed, overheated or worn. Wiring inside the wall can be damaged by nails, screws, or drill bits that are being used on the wall, like when hanging a picture. Also, the wiring inside extension and electrical cords can be damaged when pinched by heavy furniture and doors, or when staples used to hold them cut or pinch the cord’s insulation. And, placing extension cords inside walls or under carpets can cause them to overheat, which could also cause an arc fault.
The most common AFCIs are advanced circuit breakers that replace the standard breakers in your home’s electrical service panel. Outlet AFCIs provide protection to power cords and things that are plugged into the receptacle.