Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter GFCI
GFCI devices are programmed to watch for situations where electricity is finding a path to ground that does not align with the design of the electrical system.
In some cases, this path to ground could be through YOU. If a ground fault interrupter senses this dangerous condition, it instantly shuts the power off to protect you from the dangers of shock or electrocution.
GFCIs are generally installed where electrical circuits may accidentally come into contact with water.
A GFI detects that the current in an appliance is no longer flowing in its proper circuit. It shuts off the current within milliseconds. GFCI protects against the most common form of electrical shock hazard, the ground-fault. It also protects against fires, overheating, and destruction of wire insulation.
GFIs look different from ordinary outlets. They have two buttons labeled “Test” and “Reset.” You can check that a GFI is working by pressing “Test.” It should shut off current to the outlet so that the outlet no longer provides power. After the test, you can restore current to the outlet by pressing “Reset.” GFIs have a limited lifespan so test your GFIs once a month.
Check that your kitchens, bathrooms, garage, and outdoor areas are equipped with working GFIs. (Refrigerators are incompatible with GFI outlets and should not be plugged into one.)
GFIs are an inexpensive investment in your family’s safety.