Tamper resistant outlets are one of the latest steps taken by the NEC to improve electrical safety in family dwellings. These new outlets are mostly directed towards child safety. According to studies from the US consumer product safety commission (CPSC), approximately 2400 children receive emergency room treatment annually because of shocks or burns resulting from inserting objects into energized electrical receptacles. With this in mind, the NEC made it mandatory that all devices installed in a new or renovated dwelling unit must be tamper resistant.
A tamper resistant receptacle is a device that has built in shutters that if an object is inserted into one of the slots it will not open and expose live parts. Both shutters must be activated simultaneously for the device to operate. All receptacles in dwelling units rated at 120 volts and 15 or 20 amperes must be tamper resistant. This includes GFCIs as well.