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Your Home

Home Renovations With Fire Safety In Mind

Posted: 10/18/2013

An arc fault circuit interrupter, or AFCI, can provide protection from arc faults that may lead to electrical fires caused by damaged wiring
An arc fault circuit interrupter, or AFCI, can provide protection from arc faults that may lead to electrical fires caused by damaged wiring.

(NAPSI)—When it comes to home renovations, homeowners often value style over safety. That’s the word from experts who say homeowners can increase home safety simply by eliminating electrical hazards that could lead to fire.

Recently, the U.S. Fire Administration reported that in 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition.

Evaluating Electrical Safety In Your Home

A good way to start is by taking inventory of the outlets around your home. Take note of any outlets that could benefit from arc fault circuit interrupter, or AFCI, protection.

AFCIs provide protection from arc faults that may lead to electrical fires. Once only available through the home’s circuit breaker, AFCI receptacles are now an inexpensive and safe alternative for added home protection.

Homeowners should keep an eye out for electrical wiring damaged during installation or afterward, through overstapling, crushing, bending, penetration by screws and nails, and through rodent and insect damage.

Over time, cabling may also degrade further due to exposure to elevated temperatures or humidity, eventually leading to arcing faults and potentially a fire.

Where Should AFCI Receptacles Be Installed?

The latest National Electrical Code requires AFCI protection in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways or similar rooms or areas.

AFCI receptacles can be installed at the first outlet on a circuit to offer protection to all other outlets on that circuit. Arc-fault protection is extremely important as arc faults are often unseen and can occur anywhere in the home’s electrical system, including within walls as well as appliance cords and other extensions to branch circuit wiring.

How To Protect Your Home

Achieving whole-house electrical safety is a difficult task, but recent technological advances in the AFCI receptacle market have produced devices capable of offering added protection from arc faults and providing a cost-effective and easier-to-install option.

“Adding AFCI protection is an important safety upgrade to a home’s electrical system. An outlet branch circuit AFCI receptacle is a convenient way of accomplishing that, giving homeowners peace of mind that each room is protected,” according to Leviton electrical safety expert Bill Grande.

Grande continued, “An AFCI receptacle is designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults to help reduce the likelihood of the electrical system being an ignition source of a fire and is perfect for a remodeling project or new-home construction.”

To learn more, you can visit www.leviton.com/afci.

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