GFCIs and Grounding
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters prevent serious shock.
The GFCI was developed in 1961. It's a fast-acting circuit breaker that senses small imbalances in a circuit caused by any leaking electric current and shuts off the electricity instantly. You can recognize GFCI outlets by the test and reset buttons located on them.
Where you find GFCIs:
Grounding plugs protect you, too.
- In newer homes, GFCIs are required in kitchens, bathrooms, garages and basements.
- In older homes, GFCIs can be installed by an electrician as a replacement outlet.
- Portable GFCIs are also available.
The round plug on a three-pronged plug connects inside the outlet to a ground wire. If the outer surface of an appliance or tool becomes energized, electricity will travel to ground through the ground wire rather than through you. Never modify or remove the third prong.
GFCIs and grounding plugs keep electricity traveling on a safe path to the ground and not through you.