Is My Home Safe

Residential electrical fires occur around 70,000 times a year. A significant portion of these fires can be attributed to arc faults. An arc fault is the flow of electricity over an unintended path. These arcs can exceed temperatures of 10,000° F and easily ignite combustible materials in the home. AFCIs are devices that protect your home by detecting dangerous arcs and safely de-energizing the circuit. Arc faults arise from a number of situations, including:

  • Damaged wires
  • Receptacle leakage
  • Neutral leads pinched to grounded metal box
  • Worn electrical insulation
  • Loose electrical connections
  • Shorted wires
  • Wires or cords in contact with vibrating metal
  • Overheated or stressed electrical cords and wires
  • Misapplied/damaged appliances

A device intended to be installed at the origin of a branch circuit or feeder, such as at a panel board. The branch/feeder AFCI provides for detection of arcing faults that can occur line-to-line, line-to-neutral and line-to-ground. To be able to handle shared neutral circuits (a common application in older homes), a two-pole AFCI can be used. This will accommodate the three-wire circuit arrangement used in shared neutral applications.

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