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What Is a GFI?

electrical-socketYou interact with them multiple times a day but likely have no idea of their name or their real purpose in your home, office, grocery, coffee shop — any place with electrical outlets (so, everywhere). But… what are they?

The Basics of GFI: Protecting You from Faulty Electrical Tools

Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) exist to protect you when you use electrical devices. Also called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), they shut off power if there were to be a surge in electricity coming through the line when you are using it. Whether it be charging your phone or blow drying your hair, GFIs help to keep you safe from the sudden electrical increase.

What It Does: Interrupting Dangerous Electrical Currents

When GFIs work correctly, you don’t know that it is working at all. You plug the faulty electrical device into the socket, the electrical surge occurs, but the GFI protects you from experiencing any of the negative effects that occur. If a GFI is not in place, or has not been tested regularly, the damage can be deadly. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates that approximately 300 deaths occur each year due to electrocution (http://www.nachi.org/gfci.htm).

A GFI keeps you from being electrocuted by an unexpected surge of power, so they are vitally important to safety! This is why it is so important that you contact Nugent & Sons to arrange for installation of GFIs in your home or business.

How a GFI Keeps Your Home Safe

The Consumer Product Safety Commission identifies GFIs as a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe home environment. Many newly built home have GFI outlets in key areas where there are items plugged into outlets with an increased potential for an electrical surge.

The National Electric Code requires that GFIs be installed in the following places:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Unfinished basements
  • Near laundry units
  • Near tubs
  • Near wet bars

Regular testing of GFIs ensures that they are working and can determine if you need to contact Nugent & Sons for service or replacement. Testing your GFI can be completed in three easy steps:

  • Plug a lamp into the outlet and then turn it on.
  • Press the test button (sometimes shown in black on newer models) on your GFI. If the light went out, your GFI is fine so far.
  • Now press the reset button (red on some styles). Did the light come back on? If it did, the GFI is fine. It the light did not come back on, the GFI needs to be replaced.

Now you know just how important GFIs are to the safety of your family and employees. Make the choice to call John Nugent & Sons today at 703-291-1926 to have GFIs installed to prevent damage from electrical surges.

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