If you had a way to help stop an electrical fire in your home before it starts wouldn’t you do it? Of course you would. AFCI outlets offer this important protection by detecting hazardous arc-faults and responding by interrupting power, helping to reduce the likelihood of your home’s electrical system being an ignition source of a fire. One reason why this protection is so vital is because arc-faults are often unseen.
Did you know that arc-faults can occur anywhere in the home’s electrical system including within walls – such as when you may unknowingly damage an electrical wire by hammering a nail into it, at loose electrical connections or within electrical cords accidently damaged by furniture resting or pressing upon them? Arcing creates high intensity heat which may exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in burning particles that may over time ignite surrounding material such as wood framing or insulation.
The National Fire Protection Association reported that in 2011, 47,700 home fires involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction. Those fires resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in direct property damage. Keeping these numbers in mind, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 50% of electrical fires that occur every year could be prevented by AFCIs. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are important to have in every home; but they only help after the fire has started. So for the safest home possible be sure to include AFCI outlets on your safety checklist and install them in all living areas.
Learn more about AFCI’s in the Leviton Safety Products Buying Guide.