What's the Difference: Circuit interrupters
Due to more than 41,000 fires a year caused by electrical arcing, the use of AFCIs is a necessity
The man sitting next to me on the plane smelled of smoke. I looked down and saw that he had traces of soot on his hands and forearms. It turned out that he was an electrical engineer and fire inspector, on his way home after inspecting a burned-out building. He was the first person to tell me about arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs).
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that each year in the United States, electrical arcing and sparking cause more than 41,000 fires that kill about 350 people. Some statistics say that arcing faults cause about a third of home electrical fires. Those numbers have motivated code and fire officials to call for the use of AFCIs. As of January 2002, the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that AFCIs be used in all 15-amp and 20-amp bedroom branch circuits.
Smoke detectors detect fires, and sprinkler systems put them out. By detecting…