Q & A: Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Department:  Public  
Type:  Fact Sheets  

Located in practically every room in every home, electrical outlets and receptacles represent a constant and real danger wherever young children are found.  Tamper resistant receptacle (TRR) technology provides a simple, affordable, permanent solution to help prevent childhood shock and burn injuries caused by tampering with wall outlets.

 

What are tamper resistant receptacles, or TRRs?

  • TRRs have a very similar appearance to standard wall outlets, but they are actually designed with spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that close off the receptacle openings, or slots.

 

Why do I need TRRs?

  • Every year in the United States, more than 2,400 children under the age of 10 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for electrical shock or burns caused by tampering with a wall outlet around the home – that is seven children a day. 
  • Nearly one-third of these injuries occur when a small child attempts to insert household objects such as hairpins, keys, or paperclips into the receptacle.

 

How do TRRs work?

  • When equal pressure is simultaneously applied to both sides, the receptacle cover plates open, allowing a standard plug to make contact with the receptacle contact points. Without this synchronized pressure, the cover plates remain closed, preventing the insertion of foreign objects.

 

Are TRRs effective?

  • TRRs have proven to be so effective that the 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires installation of TRRs in all new home construction.
  • Although not widely used in homes until recently, tamper resistant receptacles have been required in hospital pediatric care facilities for more than 20 years.

 

How much do TRRs cost?

  • The cost of installing a TRR in a newly constructed home is only about $0.50 more than a traditional receptacle. 
  • Existing homes can be easily retrofitted with tamper resistant receptacles for as little as $2.00 per outlet. 

 

Can I install them myself?

  • TRR’s use the same installation guidelines that apply to standard receptacles and should only be installed by a licensed, qualified electrician.

 

Check out What Does a Tamper Resistant Receptacle (TRR) Do? for a simple,  illustrated fact sheet about TRRs.