Properly installed lighting does not pose a threat, but people do stupid things with things that are plugged in to a receptacle.
Thing is people are STUPID!! If they were not we would not need half of the codes and laws we have today.
a sad truth. i don't know which is more disturbing, that people actually lack common sense, or that they don't actually lack it, but are too lazy to use it.
A switch on the other hand is never used as a light fixture. It never has bulb that could break. A switch is located in a box is for the most part is flush with the wall. There are no exposed live parts that someone could come in contact should the bulb burst.
agreed, but as is pointed out below, just as GFCI's can malfunction, so can switches, and the point about being went and in contact with a switch is a valid point. this is why i opted feed the shower light, and switch, off the load side of a GFCI outlet that is requred in the bathroom (due to it's proximity to the sink).
GFCI protection is not foolproof and there are ways in which a GFCI will not trip and you will be electricuted. If there is not path to ground during the fault and the GFCI senses the exact same current on the feed and neutral then it will never trip.
In another thread I talk about wanting to have a GFCI that has both green (properly operating and protected) and red (fault/tripped) LED's. I found the Hubbell self-testing GFCI line. I opted for the faceless unit, but i'm sure they sell receptacled ones. the nice thing is the red LED flashes when it end-of-life's and is no longer able to protect. a great feature, and not a cheap one, but if it keeps you and your family safe, are you really going to squawk over a few bucks?
The only thing I don't like about the GFCI breaker is that it's more unlikely to get tested every month or two because it's stashed away in the panel and probably gets neglected. Whereas the outlet is right in front of your face everyday and will likely get tested more often than the breaker.
Even though the receptacle is "in front of your face", it still requires a conscious effort on the owner's part to actually to the testing - see my first response to Speedy's comment. This is why the Hubbell self-testing GFCI is so attractive, even at the additional cost.
Would it be safer if the whole house had GFCI protection?
sure it would, but then factor in the inconvenience factor of having surge strips and surge protectors tripping the GFCI units and killing power to computers, tv's, home theaters, or anything else worthy of surge protection..