Electricity lights up our homes nearly 24/7 and gives our modern world it’s kick. However, alongside the benefits it brings, electricity can also be a hazard that can easily maim and kill anyone foolish enough to mess with it without the necessary tools or knowledge. Luckily for us many strides have been taken to not only make electricity more accessible but also far less dangerous. One of these wonders is the GFCI.
Who Invented GFCI Outlets?
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs for short were an invention by Charles Dalziel in 1961 to improve the safety of handling electricity. Chales Dalziel was a professor of electrical engineering and computing who conducted experiments on electricity through testing and self experimentation. These experiments led to several breakthroughs, one of which is the GFCI outlet.
How Do GFCI Outlets and Breakers Work?
GCFIs tend to do nothing different from regular outlets and breakers. They sit there monitoring the flow of electricity just like any other outlet or breaker. However, you’ll see a change when an excessive amount of current goes through the GFCI. Any other outlet will just let the current through regardless of how much is passing. GFCIs on the other hand will trip the circuit and stop the current.
How GFCIs Help Keep You Safe
Makes Electrocutions Less Dangerous
GFCI outlets are great electrical safety devices because of their ability to stop the flow of electricity within seconds. This might not seem like much but this small window of time is the difference between life and death. Charles Dalziel did physiological experiments on animals to see how much current would be needed to cause heart problems. These led to his creation of the GFCI. Many of the accidents caused by electrical mishaps have reduced drastically over the years since his GFCI has been in service.
Prevents Damage to Devices
Devices connected to a regular outlet are constantly at risk of getting overloaded. Whether it be from a surge of power coming from the outlet itself or the device is naturally defective, your device or appliance could easily overload without GFCIs to trip the system when too much current is flowing into it. The overload would cause it to electrocute anyone holding the appliance and most likely destroy the device. Your device could also end up bursting into flames if the current isn’t cut in time.
Prevent House fires
House fires can be caused by a number of things. From fireworks to kitchen carelessness fires can come from anywhere, including your electrical system. Electrical mishaps are responsible for 6.3% of all housefires and cost many thousands of dollars every year to handle. With a GFCI in place, your house will be safe from any sudden electrical fires as they will keep the current flowing properly and trip the system if in case the power gets out of hand.
GFCIs are electrical wonders that every household should consider switching to. Not just because they’re apart of the National Electrical Code, but from the fact that your family and home is kept safe from electrical discharges and fires by these silent protectors.
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