It is estimated that approximately 2,400 children suffer from electrical shock and burns in the home each year when they force foreign objects into unprotected electrical outlets. Installing tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRs), also called tamper-resistant outlets, are one way to safeguard young ones in the home to prevent serious injury.
Other forms of outlet protection are available, such as plastic coverings, but they can be easily removed by children and are therefore not labeled as tamper-resistant. A TRR is a type of electrical outlet that requires double-prong entry in order for a plug to enter. These devices were designed to prevent the accidental insertion of hairpins, keys, knives, paper clips, nails, screws, and other small objects, which can pose an electrical shock hazard. Home inspectors and homeowners can identify these outlets by looking for the letters “TR” or the words “tamper-resistant” imprinted on the receptacle’s surface, which means that they’re tamper-resistant and have been tested to sustain periods of extended use and some forms of physical damage.
How TRRs Work
Inside the TRR outlet is a spring-loaded shutter mechanism that blocks single-prong entry. When using a grounded or ungrounded plug, (2- or 3-prong), the blades of the plug press both shutters against the spring. This combined force slides the shutters and opens the slots for electrical contact. When the plug is removed, the shutters close and re-cover the openings.
With a TRR, be sure that the stems of the plug are not bent and that the plug is inserted as straight as possible. Slight maneuvering may be required, depending on the quality of the outlet. If there is an issue, the TRR may be defective and should be replaced