Adding Arc Fault Protection Makes Homes Safer from Electrical Fires

Arc fault protection required by the National Electrical Code can help prevent dangerous electrical problems, such as damaged, overheated or stressed wiring, from sparking a house fire. Electricians install what are called Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters, or AFCIs, which can sense hazardous arcing in a home’s wiring. This immediately cuts off power before a blaze has a chance to erupt. AFCIs could prevent about half of electrical fires that happen yearly, estimates the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Improve the Fire-Resistance of Your Home

Houses built today may be safer from the risk of electrical fires than any other time in history. Why? The National Electrical Code, updated in 2014, requires AFCIs on all circuits in every room of newly built homes, from kitchens to living rooms to bedrooms.

AFCI’s have proven to be worth the investment, stopping an estimated half of all electrical fires before they start. In fact, because of their record of success many homeowners have added arc fault protection to older homes, not required to have AFCIs. These homes’ aging wiring systems can be even more susceptible to arcing and, thus, electrical fires.

Arcing creates heat so intense that it can ignite burning particles. They then can easily set surrounding materials on fire, such as wood, drywall or insulation. Temperatures of these arcs often reach more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Electrical Code for Arc Fault Protection

This enhanced fire protection technology first came to the attention of the NEC in 1999. This national body listened to testimony from many people and reviewed tons of data before finally mandating the safety device in all new homes in 2014.

Think of an AFCI like you would locks. You put them on all doors and windows to protect your family. In the same way, arc fault protection on all 15A and 20A branch circuits will protect your whole home from an arcing hazard.

Best Protection from Electrical Hazards

Today, all new residential construction includes arc fault protection. It costs $35 to $50 per circuit breaker, while receptacles range from $20 to $30.

Manufacturers of AFCIs run them through hundreds of possible scenarios. After testing them, the manufacturers then program these advanced electronic devices to constantly monitor circuits for “normal” and “dangerous” arcing conditions.

Many homeowners confuse an AFCI with a GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. One major difference exists. A GFCI protects people from severe injury from an electrical shock if parts of an electrical appliance or tool become energized. An AFCI protects wiring from dangerous arcing that could ignite an electrical fire.

Electricians contend, though, that installing both AFCI and GFCI technologies should be done. This combination provides homeowners the most complete protection from electrical hazards possible on a circuit.

Keep Your Home and Your Family Safe with Arc Fault Protection Installed by Henderson Electric of NWF!

Why risk the safety of your family and home when you don’t have to? Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters can cut off your power before a fire starts. Call our experienced experts today and receive added protection from an electrical accident, especially if you live in a home built before 2014.

Read about more projects