What are Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)?

The 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC) requirement for AFCI protection considerably expands this fire prevention technology to the majority of circuits installed in new and renovated homes. The type of AFCI currently available is a next-generation circuit breaker that not only provides the conventional safety functions, but its advanced design also rapidly detects potentially dangerous arcs and disconnects power in the circuit before a fire can start. Fire safety officials endorse AFCIs as a significant step forward in electrical fire safety.

Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers

50 to 70 percent of all electrical home fires in the United States are caused by arc fault conditions, according to the National Association of Fire Marshals (NASFM).

WHY SHOULD THEY BE INSTALLED IN YOUR HOME?

AFCIs will save lives and make homes safer. Every year, there are an estimated 20,900 home structure fires that involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment and that resulted in 500 civilian deaths, 1,100 civilian injuries and $862 million in direct property damage. In roughly half of these fires, arcing was a factor contributing to ignition. Arcing is the principal electrical failure mode resulting in fire.

Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers

WHY MANDATE AFCIS FOR NEWER HOMES WHEN STATISTICS SHOW THE MAJORITY OF PROBLEMS HAVE OCCURRED IN OLDER HOMES?

Fire safety officials recommend the use of AFCIs in all dwellings but recognize that installation is easier and more affordable during original construction. More importantly, every new home will become an older home with time. More years of use mean more opportunities for cords and wires in the house or in its electrical appliances to be damaged. Installation errors can occur at any point. AFCIs prevent such damage or errors from causing fires. Once installed, AFCIs provide protection for the life of the electrical system.

HOW DO YOU KNOW AFCIS WILL PREVENT FIRES AND SAVE LIVES?

Since 1999, AFCIs have been thoroughly field-tested. Underwriters Laboratories, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and many other experts have found AFCIs to be reliable and effective. By eliminating a significant source of electrically related fires, future statistics will demonstrate a reduction in fires of electrical origin.

WHAT IS THE NEC?

The NEC is the National Electrical Code. The NEC’s mission is to provide practical safeguards from the hazards that arise from using electricity. It is the most widely adopted safety code for the built environment in the United States and the world, and it is the benchmark for safe electrical installations. The NEC is an evolving document, developed through an open consensus process. A new edition is issued every three years.

CODE 210.12(A)

The 2014 NEC states in article 210.12(A) that the definition of arc-fault circuit-interrupter is, "A device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc-fault is detected."

Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers(A) Dwelling Units. All 120 volt, single phase, 15 and 20-ampere branch circuits, supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

WE STAND BEHIND OUR WORK

Precision Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric will stand behind not only the quality of your installation but your safety as well. We will ensure the highest standards are maintained when it comes to your experience with us here at Precision. Your satisfaction and safety are of the upmost importance, all the time, every time.

Please feel free to contact us anytime by visiting www.precisionplumbing.com or by calling us here at our office 303-442-3355. We value you as a Precision customer and we are here for you.

For all your circuit interrupter and electrical needs across Boulder and surrounding areas, call and speak with Precision Electrical today.

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