Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are required by the National Electrical Code® (NEC) for certain electrical circuits in the home. Questions have been raised regarding their application and even the need for them. Various technical “opinions,” organizational “marketing pitches,” and misinformation are being distributed about AFCIs that further mislead the public about the purpose of the device as a part of overall electrical safety for the public.
WHY DO WE REALLY NEED AFCIs?
Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders are all examples of emergency equipment used in homes to take action when a fire occurs. An AFCI is a product that is designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults to help prevent the electrical system from being an ignition source of a fire. Conventional overcurrent protective devices do not detect low level hazardous arcing currents that have the potential to initiate electrical fires. It is well known that electrical fires do exist and take many lives and damage or destroy significant amounts of property. Electrical fires can be a silent killer occurring in areas of the home that are hidden from view and early detection. The objective is to protect the circuit in a manner that will reduce its chances of being a source of an electrical fire. Read more