Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tamper-Resistant Electrical Receptacles

What are the requirements for tamper-resistant electrical receptacles? I was told to install these in all waiting areas or anywhere there may be children.  This is not a pediatric hospital, and we do not have a pediatric unit. If I do need to install them, can I use a cover that has a slide system and is called a child-resistant cover? 

Yes. Although you are not a pediatric location and therefore are not required to do this, the Joint Commission recommends that any organization perform a risk assessment to determine if there might be areas that should be protected in this manner.  For locations that are pediatric, The Joint Commission requires that organizations comply with the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code® (LSC),* Chapter 2, Required References - which references the 1999 edition of NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC). NFPA 70, 517.18 ( c ) states that “Receptacles located within the patient care areas of pediatric wards, rooms, or areas, shall be listed tamper resistant, or shall employ a listed tamper resistant cover.”
 
The NFPA recently revised this NEC requirement to cover all receptacles installed in the patient care areas of pediatric locations. An organization is required to install tamper-resistant (childproof - such as you describe) electrical receptacles in pediatric treatment areas, pediatric patient bedrooms, and pediatric waiting rooms.  Organizations may want to take a   commonsense approach by blending the requirements of NFPA 70 with the performance of a risk assessment, per EC.1.1(a), to look at other areas of the building that may pose a concern.  Examples of such areas may include areas that have a high number of children present daily, such as children’s play areas, on-site day care, public waiting areas, and so on. 

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