Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters, or AFCIs, are an extremely important component of your home’s electrical system . What do they do, why do you need them, and how are they helping keep your home safe? Jeremy Electrical breaks down everything Kansas City homeowners need to know about AFCIs.
What Are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters?
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are circuit breakers that reside in your electrical panel and are essentially designed to help prevent house fires. They distinguish between harmless arcs (or bursts of electricity) and more serious ones and disconnect power before a fire starts. A harmless arc could be switching a light on or off, or plugging in your toaster. A serious arc could be caused by poor or old wiring, or even a dog chewing through a cord.
Why Do I Need to Ensure My AFCI Is Working Properly?
Without an AFCI, electrical panels, and thus, homes are susceptible to an electrical wiring fire. In fact, home electrical wiring is the cause of over 51,000 fires each year in the United States. Unfortunately, this type of house fire accounts for more than 400 deaths and 1,400 injuries every year.
Does My Historic Home have AFCIs?
Sadly, many older homes do not have modern electrical panels that support AFCI capabilities and as such are at greater risks for home fires. Although some older electrical panels may be able to be retrofitted with AFCIs, it’s a better and easier practice to simply upgrade your electrical panel to a newer model instead.
What Is the Difference Between AFCIs and GFCIs?
As a homeowner you have heard of GFCIs, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. GFCIs are a breaker that is designed to protect against the electrical shock of a person. They are a common component to outlets that are near water. AFCIs, on the other hand, are designed to protect against electrical fires. While they each have their own purpose, both AFCIs and GFCIs have a test button.
The Jeremy Electrical team cares about the safety of you and your family. It is important to ensure that your home’s AFCI is working properly.