Every year people suffer from the effects of electrical fires. These fires can completely incinerate houses, damage belongings and take lives. If there was a way to increase your chances of avoiding this type of fire, wouldn’t you want to know what it was? The answer is the use of an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. Burley Electrical Service Inc. is here to help us keep our homes and families safe.
What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?
There are different types of emergency equipment used when an electrical fire happens such as smoke alarms, escape ladders and fire extinguishers. An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter, or AFCI for short, is a device used to protect homes against electrical arcing that could result in an electrical fire. Electrical arcing is often times caused by deteriorated or damaged electrical wires. These types of fires are a result of the heat created by an arc near paper, wood, carpet or other materials that easily catch on fire. There are many different ways to damage an electrical wire, many of which take place without you even knowing it. When your drywall is hung during construction, outlets and switches are not installed properly, furniture pushing up against cords that are plugged in or even hanging pictures on the walls can all damage wiring and increase the chance of an electrical fire.
How Does an AFCI Do?
An AFCI uses advance technology to actually “sense” different arcing conditions. An AFCI is constantly trying to decipher between normal and dangerous arcing. This is where an AFCI differs from the conventional circuit breakers. Conventional circuit breakers are unable to detect dangerous and unwanted arcing. Once an unwanted arcing is detected the AFCI de-energizes the circuit, and in the process avoids a potential fire.
Differences Between Normal and Dangerous Arcing
Normal arcing would be the arcing that happens when turning on and off a light switch, or the use of other in home equipment like vacuums. A dangerous arc can happen when electrical wiring is damaged, as mentioned before. An AFCI in constantly monitoring and analyzing the differences between these different conditions to determine whether or not they are hazardous.
AFCI Breaker Keeps Tripping? Are AFCIs Just Too Sensitive?
AFCIs have gotten some criticism for being too easily tripped. They are more sensitive than the conventional circuit breakers if they detect a possible dangerous arc when using a treadmill or vacuum, along with other household items. They can also be more sensitive when dealing with an older home. However, the risk of an electrical fire is substantially higher in an older home if it hasn’t had the electrical wiring updated. This is not a reason to decide not to have them installed. The safety benefits far outweigh the small inconveniences that may come with an AFCI being sensitive.
Installing an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter and/or AFCI Outlets
When considering ways to make your home a safer place, consider installing an AFCI. Before dangerous arcing conditions can create a fire, the AFCI recognizes them and eliminates the dangerous arcing. Call Burley Electrical Services Inc. today and they can help answer any questions you may have about installing an AFCI. They will help make your home as safe as possible.