Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
Arc fault breakers will trip before a potential fire occurs.
Arc fault Circuit Interrupters continuously monitor installed electrical wiring for arcing conditions which could cause a potential fire.
Arcing creates high intensity heating at the point of the arc resulting in burning particles that may over time ignite surrounding material, such as wood framing or insulation.
All 15-20 amp 120 volt circuits throughout a home either have to be arc fault or ground fault protected per the 2011 National Electric Code.
Possible Causes of Arc Faults
- A nail from a picture hanger or flooring installation can puncture the wire insulation.
- During the original installation or remodeling, a wire can be pinched or punctured by a nail or staple too tightly against the wood framing member.
- A wall receptacle or switch, if improperly installed with loose connections.
- Insulation may be damaged when furniture is pushed up against or rests on a cord.
- A door can puncture or cause damage to insulation on extension cords.
- Any damage to connected cords.
The most serious arc-fault related fire risks occur behind walls and under floors. Because these conditions exist unseen they are more likely to go undetected for longer periods of time and thereby increase the risk of fire.
National fire statistics from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission show that more than 40,000 fires are caused each year by problems with home electrical wiring. For the past 10 years, electrical wiring systems have been the leading cause of fire deaths involving electrical equipment, claiming an average of nearly 350 lives each year. These deaths and fires cost society over $2 billion annually.
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