The quantity and use of specific types of outlets are always an individual matter, dependent on the size of the apartment or house and the specific needs of its inhabitants. For the seamless functioning of a household, it's generally better to slightly over-dimension the number of outlets to ensure there's no shortage later.
Ideally, outlets or at least the preparation for them, such as pre-installed cables with covers, should be present in every corner of a room. The highest demand is usually in the kitchen. The exact placement of outlets should always be planned based on the expected room layout. They are commonly installed at a height of 20 to 30 centimeters above the floor (measured to the center of the device). If they are placed above a tabletop or countertop, they are often aesthetically positioned at the same height as switches. Near water sources, specific rules set by technical standards apply.
In spaces inhabited by small children, extra attention should be given to electrical outlets. Children's curiosity often leads to risky attempts to insert small objects like pen tips or screwdrivers into outlets. Unfortunate accidents can be prevented by using childproof electrical outlets, known as safety shutters. These covers are placed in the openings of the outlets and can be opened, slid, or rotated only if equal pressure is applied to both openings simultaneously – meaning when a plug is inserted.
Turning One into Two
It's possible to convert one outlet into two without the need to modify the electrical wiring. A dual outlet, or double socket, can be created using the existing installation box of a single outlet – no additional wall penetration is required. For dual outlets, it's better if both pairs of receptacles are oriented diagonally – this allows convenient connection of two plugs bent in an L-shape.
In today's households, many appliances are sensitive to power surges in the electrical grid. Surge protector outlets can help safeguard them. A surge protection system should be set up at three levels – protection devices of Class B and C are installed in electrical distribution panels, while Class D protection is handled by surge protector outlets. These outlets can detect power surges and indicate them through visual or auditory signals. If they become faulty, indicated by beeping or a dimmed indicator light, the outlets need to be replaced to continue functioning correctly.
The range of electrical outlets also includes communication outlets equipped with USB, HDMI, card readers, and antenna outlets for satellite or television connections, which make appliance usage in households more convenient.