According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (, if a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) was installed in every U.S. household nearly seven percent of the approximately 330 electrocutions that occur each year in the home could be prevented.

What is a GFCI and what does it do?

  • GFCIs are products designed to prevent serious injury or death from electrical shock by detecting ground faults at very low levels.
  • A GFCI should be used in certain areas of the home, including unfinished basements, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, crawl spaces, and around swimming pools.
  • If a GFCI senses minimal current leakage to ground in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It then interrupts power fast enough to prevent serious injury from electrical shock.
  • Three types of GFCIs are designed for home use – wall receptacle, circuit breaker, and portable plug-in. All three are readily available, inexpensive, and fairly simple to install.