Home Safety Devices: Renovate Your Home to Code

The National Electrical Code is revised every three years and outlines the minimum requirements for safe electrical installations. Many older homes may not have an adequate electrical system to meet the electrical demands of today. If you're renovating your home, make sure to have the following electrical devices installed to maintain an electrically safe home.

Safety Devices

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)

Available as a circuit breaker and receptacle. AFCIs protect against electrical fires from malfunctions. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50% of home electrical fires can be prevented by proper AFCI protection.

Surge Protective Devices (SPD)

SPDs protect against surges that can damage or reduce the lifespan of your electrical system and devices.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

Available as a circuit breaker and receptacle. GFCls protect against electric shock and are required in areas where water and electricity may come in contact.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR)

TRRs function like normal receptacles but they include an internal shutter system to prevent foreign objects, other than plugs, from being inserted into the outlets.

2020 Code Requirements

Renovating the following areas in your home? The following protection is required in these areas as of the 2020 National Electrical Code.

  • Bathrooms: GFCI protection
  • Basements and crawl spaces:
    • Finished basements: AFCI protection
    • Crawl spaces at or below grade: GFCI protection
  • Bedrooms: AFCI protection
  • Common rooms (family, dining, parlor, libraries, dens, recreation, and similar rooms): AFCI protection
  • Garages: GFCI protection
  • Hallways and closets: AFCI protection
  • Kitchens (where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces or where receptacles are installed within six feet of a sink): AFCI and GFCI protection
  • Laundry areas: AFCI and GFCI protection
  • Outdoors: GFCI protection

2020 National Electrical Code Highlights

  • All receptacles in homes, garages, accessory buildings, and common areas of multifamily homes must be protected by TRRS.
  • New and replaced service equipment are now required to be protected by listed Type 1 and Type 2 surge protective devices.
  • Outdoor emergency disconnects are required for new construction, and homes having their service replaced.