What are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)?

What are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)?

What are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)?

An AFCI or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter, is a security device that deters fires driven by unsafe wiring situations. Different than a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which is devised to control shock hazards, an AFCI is developed to manage fire hazards. In other terms, while a GFCI is created to safeguard people by shutting down if there is a current abnormality, a circuit breaker is developed to protect the wiring by interrupting power when there is an overload, and an AFCI is devised to safeguard against heat (fire) by shutting down an outlet.

Arcing defects directly cause over 30,000 electrical house fires every year. An AFCI reacts to an electrical arc by shutting down the breaker or outlet. A standard arc induced by faulty wiring can also emerge from a heat appliance like an iron, air fryer, or portable heater.

What is an arc?

An arc is an electrical current traveling through the air. Most arcs are innocuous. But, if an electrical system has deterioration, such as a loose wire, an arc can produce a temperature of over 5000 degrees, provoke a fire, and fail to trip a traditional breaker in the process.

AFCI apparatuses are currently required by the National Electrical Code to be established for use in every bedroom and sleeping area (such as spaces with fold-out couches). This is particularly important because when individuals sleep, they can be targets of smoke inhalation before they ever have the chance to wake up.

Who can benefit?

AFCIs are particularly valuable in houses with older adults and those with mobility problems. They also make sense to use in houses with kids or the disabled. Businesses that often use heat-type devices can also profit. Eventually, they will be utilized in more applications where fire protection is a consideration.

Kinds of AFCIs

There are various kinds of AFCIs, varying from outlet AFCIs, circuit breaker AFCIs, mobile AFCIs, and hybrid types. AFCIs are also inherently GFCIs but are not at a Class A level. Some AFCIs can indicate whether they've been tripped due to an arc fault or a ground fault, which is sure to be helpful in several circumstances.


As time progresses and unique safety devices are created, we can save more lives and property from blazes and electrocutions. We frequently take electricity for granted due to its omnipresent nature and availability. But despite its dependability, threats still exist, and we must take a long view of these risks since a minor electrical issue can have an immense impact.

If you have worries about the electrical design of your house or business, organize a consultation with a licensed electrician. Dealing with minor problems is a valuable effort to stop an electrical issue from evolving into a shock or fire hazard.

We hope this helps you better understand AFCIs. Contact us today if you are looking for electrical contractors in Apopka, FL. We are here for you!

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