GFCI Electrical Safety Systems: Everything You Need to Know

Before the development of electrical safety equipment such as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), lots of people were accidentally electrocuted by the electrical surges created by thunderstorms or by faulty electrical wiring. However, even today, there are still homes which are not fitted with electrical safety devices. If your home electrical system is not fitted with GFCIs, you should consider contacting an electrician and asking them to carry out the work. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about GFCIs.

Common causes of electrocution

Electrocution occurs when a person comes into contact with or is in close proximity to a source of electrical power. The damage caused by an electric shock can range from mild pain and discomfort to severe burns, seizures and even death. There are several potential causes of electrocution in the average home, such as:

  • Faulty wiring (this may be exposed, allowing you to come into direct contact)
  • Faulty electrical equipment (microwaves, hair dryers, etc)
  • Faulty fuse box (if the fuses are malfunctioning, they will not cut the power during a surge)

A GFCI system will help to protect you and your loved ones from the danger of electrocution.

How GFCI systems work

A GFCI system works by constantly monitoring the electrical current which is passing through a circuit. The electrical system in your home features a neutral, earth and live wire. When the electrical system is operating as it should, the electrical current will flow from the live wire over to the neutral wire.

If an electrical appliance in your home develops a fault, or if you accidentally come into contact with a live wire, some of the current will flow from the live wire into the surrounding environment or your body rather than into the neutral wire. This will cause the current to change. This change will be detected by the GFCI system which will then instantly cut off the power supply, preventing electrocution.

Failure of GFCIs

There are some instances when a GFCI system may fail, such as being incorrectly installed or damage to the system's surge protectors. To prevent this, you should have a GFCI system installed by a fully qualified electrical contractor and have the system inspected and maintained.

If you are interested in having a GFCI system fitted in your home or if you would like to find out more about how the system works, you should contact an electrical installation and maintenance company today.