September 26, 2012, Arlington, VA – The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) applauds action taken by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to preserve the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), and tamper resistant receptacle (TRR) requirements outlined in the state electrical code. On Monday, Governor Walker announced that his administration was abandoning plans to amend the AFCI, GFCI, and TRR requirements included in Chapter SPS 316 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. This decision ensures that the citizens of Wisconsin continue to benefit from the latest advances in residential electrical safety.
“We commend Governor Walker for acknowledging the proven safety benefits provided by AFCIs, GFCIs and TRRs,” said ESFI president Brett Brenner. “These devices save thousands of lives each year, and not requiring these safety measures would put the citizens of Wisconsin unnecessarily at risk.”
AFCIs are one of the newest and most important advancements in electrical fire protection. These innovative devices protect against arcing faults in a home’s wiring that cannot be detected by standard circuit breakers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that nearly 50 percent of home electrical fires could be prevented with AFCI technology.
GFCIs shut off power to electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents, protecting citizens from shocks and electrocution. These devices have saved thousands of lives since being introduced in the 1970’s, and are credited with reducing the number of residential electrocutions by 50% over the last several decades. The CPSC estimates that more than two-thirds of the electrocutions occurring each year could be prevented by installation of GFCIs in every home in the United States.
TRRs look just like ordinary electrical outlets, but are designed with internal spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that prevent young children from inserting foreign objects into the receptacle slots. Nearly seven children a day under the age of ten are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for incidents related to electrical receptacles, according to CPSC data. TRRs provide simple, permanent solution for protecting children from these traumatic shock and burn injuries.
As the premier non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to electrical safety and a member of the Electrical Code Coalition, ESFI supports the adoption of national consensus standards that protect citizens from electrical hazards, thereby reducing electrically-related fatalities, injuries, fires and property losses.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated exclusively to promoting the importance of electrical safety. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to increase awareness of the steps that can be taken to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities in the home, school, and workplace. To learn more about ESFI, visit www.electrical-safety.org.