Learn about the Importance of Arc Fault Breakers in California Homes

Typical household fuses and circuit breakers do not respond to early arcing and sparking conditions in your home wiring. By the time a fuse or circuit breaker opens a circuit to defuse these conditions, a fire may already have begun. Be sure to call us immediately if you’ve ever heard a switch buzzing, hissing, or popping in your home!

2 Ways Arcing May Occur In Your Home:

  • Naturally—Arcing occurs naturally when a light switch is turned on or a motor driven appliance is switched on like a home blender, or vacuum cleaner.
  • Unsafe Arcing—Loose or corroded connections in your home could make irregular contact. That contact could cause arcing or sparking between those connections, causing heat that can break down the insulation in the wiring and potentially causing a fire.

A new electrical safety device for your home, called an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (or AFCI), was designed to provide enhanced protection to you and your home from fires that may occur from unsafe home wiring conditions. Arc fault breakers trip once the breaker detects an arcing situation. These smart devices can determine when a natural arc has occurred or an unsafe arc has occurred. If you have further questions on arcing or would like to know if your home’s electrical system is up to code, call our professionals at Safe-Way Electric & Solar Co.!

Requiring AFCIs

AFCIs have already been recognized for their effectiveness in preventing home fires. In the most recent edition of the National Electrical Code (the widely-adopted model code for electrical wiring) beginning January 1, 2008, all AFCIs are required to be a “combination” type rather than a “branch/feeder.” AFCI protection is required for a 15Amp & 20Amp branch circuits supplying outlets in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, and similar rooms or areas.

Facts & Tips

Did you know that problems in home wiring, like arcing and sparking, are associated with over 40,000 home fires every year? These fires have claimed over 350 lives and injured over 1,400 victims annually.