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Certified home inspection includes…

Inspecting for tamper-resistant receptacles in the home you are considering buying.  If you have small children or grandchildren, this is a big safety consideration.  Children are curious and can be exposed to shock hazards if they try to poke items into the receptacles. Every year, over 2,000 in the United States are injured by electrical shocks and burns.

These injuries can be prevented by installing tamper resistant receptacles.  Parents and grandparents can also install plastic covers, but they are not as permanent or effective as the tamper resistant receptacles.

When I perform home inspections, I inspect the receptacles and if the letters TR are on the receptacle, it indicates that this is a tamper resistant receptacle.  That means that there is a spring loaded flap that blocks a single-pronged entry.  These items are typically bobby pins, knives, nails, screws or paperclips.  The tamper resistant receptacle only allows a double pronged entry, thus preventing an electrical shock.

The National Electrical Code has specific requirements stating where tamper resistant receptacles are required in the home.  However, I would recommend that all receptacles in the home have this feature.  They are relatively inexpensive and well worth the peace of mind they provide to keep children safe.