Have you ever been electrically shocked? Chances are you haven’t, and it’s likely due to a device called a GFI.

What is a GFI (or GFCI)??? Other than the receptacles, with the buttons in the middle, that sometimes cause inconvenience around the holidays, they are the single reason associated to a 75% reduction in your odds of being electrically shocked and/or electrocuted.

GFCI stands for GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER, and it detects a faulty path of current. This path is typically altered by the addition of another conductive element such as water, or a human. For this reason, many find receptacles not working intermittently during the holidays. Most ends of holiday light strips are made to connect to one another, which almost always leave an open end somewhere. When rain water, or any conductive element, finds its way to that open end, it should trip the GFI. Many times this GFI is in another location such as your garage or bathroom.

What I really wish to educate you on, is not the placement of GFIs or how they work, but more importantly, the importance of THAT they work, and how to test them. Odds are 1 in 8 GFIs come defective out of the box (based on and independent study). After installation, the average lifespan of a GFI is only 10 years, and the test button placed on the device itself is not a true test on the life saving ability to act correctly during a fault. How old and have your GFIs ever been tested? All GFIs should be tested annually by a licensed electrician with a GFI tester. The last circumstance you want to find a bad GFI is during, or after it shocks or electrocutes someone. Kasper Electrical Inc. offers this test, along with many others, at no cost to you. If you have someone else you are comfortable with, I urge you to have them properly test them, because the only cost more expensive than testing for life safety, is the cost of not testing at all.

For scheduling your free test, or any electrical questions, call 844-KASPERS

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