What You Need to Know About Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters

“What is an arc fault circuit interrupter(AFCI) exactly?” It’s a type of advanced circuit breaker that helps to reduce the threat of an electrical fire. AFCIs protect circuits, and when they detect a potentially dangerous electrical arc, they break the circuit to prevent a fire.

AFCIs are pretty cool things. They can distinguish between harmless arcs and potentially dangerous ones, such as one that occurs in an old lamp cord with a conductor that’s not working. AFCIs are handy and potentially life-saving inventions. They can detect all kinds of electrical threats (arcing electrical faults) as to prevent the electrical system from igniting an electrical fire.

AFCIs were added into electrical codes in the late 1990s; however, there are myths circulating about AFCIs, which we wanted to shed light on. These myths or misconceptions are often believed as truths by home and business owners, and even some novice electricians.

Myth #1: AFCIs Don’t Really Save Lives

This simply isn’t true. AFCIs are very important and they do save lives – this has been proven repeatedly. Go to www.afcisafety.org to read success stories where these breakers saved people and property.

One of the leading causes of home electrical fires is arc faults. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were on average 40,000 residential fires each year in the 1990s that were attributed to home electrical wiring. The CPSC reported that more than 50 percent of those fires could have been prevented with AFCIs.

Myth #2: AFCIs Only Protect the Appliances Plugged into Specific Outlets

It is a misconception that AFCIs only protect the devices or appliances that are plugged into a defective outlet that leads to an electric arc, but in reality AFCIs protect entire circuits, including the electrical panel, the wires that run through the walls downstream, and anything else that’s plugged into the outlets connected to the same circuit.

Related: Avoid Overloading Your Home!

Want to learn more about the incredible value of AFCIs? Contact Lighting Bug Electric today!

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