Many parents of young children have not childproofed the electrical outlets in their home. Others have, but they’re still using plastic caps, which are no longer considered the go-to method for preventing children from injuries due to their interactions with electrical outlets.

Those are some of the results of a survey conducted recently on the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which set out to determine usage and awareness of tamper resistant receptacle (TRR) technology.

Each year, approximately 2,400 children suffer severe shock and burns after inserting foreign objects into the slots of electrical receptacles; totaling nearly seven children a day. Nearly one-third of these injuries are the result of small children placing ordinary household objects, such as keys, pins, or paperclips into electrical outlets. Sadly, tampering with wall outlets leads to an estimated six to 12 fatalities a year.

“Safeguarding electrical outlets is among one of the top priorities for families who are childproofing their homes, but many are unaware of tamper resistant receptacle technology and its proven effectiveness,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Unlike plastic outlet caps that can be removed by toddlers and are a choking hazard, tamper resistant receptacles offer permanent protection and have been proven so effective that they are now required in all new home construction.”

Key findings of survey:

  • Plastic outlet caps were utilized by 86% of mothers surveyed, yet 40% of respondents agreed that they could easily be removed by toddlers;
  • Nearly one-third of survey respondents reported that their electrical outlets were not childproofed;
  • Over two-thirds of respondents were only slightly or not at all familiar with TRRs;
  • 61% of those with TRRs reported that they were already installed when they moved in their home;
  • TRRs were perceived as being harder to plug into than traditional outlets by 68% of our respondents; and
  • TRRs were seen as a relatively expensive product, with 77% of mothers believing that they cost at least $1 more than a traditional outlet.

Click here to view the complete results of the survey.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home and workplace. Our mission is to reduce electrically related fires, injuries and fatalities by providing the resources necessary to aid in the prevention of deadly electrical accidents at home and in the workplace. To learn more about ESFI and electrical safety, visit