Arc Fault Interrupters

There are some great new electrical safety 'gizmos' on the market called Arc Fault Interrupters (AFIs or AFCIs). Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs or GFCIs) have been around for a long time and protect against electrical shocks. Unlike GFIs, AFIs detect improper arching and protect against electrical fires.

The latest national electrical codes require AFIs in the bedroom circuits of all new homes and local jurisdictions will most likely adopt these codes in the near future. I think that's a great idea!

Electrical fires are among the most likely causes of accidental death in the home (just ask your local fire marshal). We hear a lot about some less likely causes of injury and death: earthquakes and terrorists. Those are real concerns, but electrical fires are more common and much easier and less expensive to prevent. The best ways to prevent such fires is by:

  • making sure that the wiring in your home was properly installed and not damaged or improperly modified by amateur "electricians",
  • not using extension cords and multiple plug in devices as a substitute for properly installed new circuits, and,
  • upgrading the bedroom circuits with AFIs

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