What is an arc fault?
An ARC FAULT is an unintentional electrical discharge - a problem that even the most safety-conscious homeowner can't always avoid. That's because arc faults are usually caused by undetected problems: Damaged extension cords. Improperly installed wall receptacles, electrical cable pierced by picture-hanging nails.
Why is an arc fault dangerous?
An arc fault may ignite combustible materials and cause a fire - a threat to any home and its occupants. Furnaces in attics are a common problem.
What can I do to prevent arc faults?
You can't prevent arc faults from occurring. However, there is a device that can stop them--by interrupting the electrical current before any damage is done. It's called an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI), and it electronically detects any arc fault and stops the flow of electricity in a fraction of a second. No electricity, no heat, no fire. And, by tripping on a specific circuit, the GE AFCI helps you identify the source of the problem right at the load center.
Are fuses and breakers the same as AFCI's?
No. Fuses and circuit breakers cannot detect low-level arcs. Only AFCIs are specifically designed for that purpose.
Are AFCIs required by the Electrical Code?
Yes. As of January 2002, arc fault circuit interrupters are required by the National Electrical Code on all new bedroom circuits. But, you can protect your existing home too! By installing GE AFCIs now, you can get peace of mind from their added fire protection
Although AFCIs have their uses, it's important to note that these protection devices are not designed to prevent fires caused by series arcing at loose connections in devices like switches or receptacles. You should have a qualified electrician verify the safe operation of the electrical installation in your home
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