Have you ever seen the destruction caused by a fire to a home or business? Have you ever heard the culprit was electrical?
Often when a home fire occurs it can be electrically related. Many times it is a poor connection or damaged wiring that causes the fire. Many people do not know or understand that a standard circuit breaker or fuse is not designed to prevent fires, they are designed to protect the wiring in your home and the devices connected to them. They are however limited in their ability to protect.
One of those limitations is caused by those poor connections or damaged wires. They can create what is known as an Arc, and when that Arc is created in an unintended situation, it is known as an Arc-Fault. An Arc-Fault is a very serious and dangerous situation, and when one takes place it can reach temperatures in excess of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As it occurs it can ignite not only the combustible materials near the incident, but it can also melt the wiring and devices connected to the wiring. In some situation it can lead to catastrophic fire.
Because of the inability for standard circuit breakers to detect an arc, manufacturers and engineers began to design a product that was capable of doing just that. What they came up with the AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter) device.
What is an AFCI?
An AFCI stands for “Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter” (AFCI). Essentially it is a device that has been designed to help protect against the damage produced by an arc fault. An AFCI comes in two forms typically used by electricians. The first type of device integrates the AFCI protection into a common circuit breaker. The second device builds it into a receptacle, similar in looks to the common GFCI receptacle located in kitchens and bathrooms.
Both devices utilize the same basic technology to “Sense” the conditions of an Arc. It performs this job by continuously looking at the circuit, measuring and monitoring for the difference between a normal arc (One that has been designed, like the operation of certain motors) and one that is dangerous.
Why should you have an AFCI installed?
No one wants to suffer the loss and destruction of our homes, possessions and our memories. AFCI devices were designed to minimize and lower the chance of that happing in our homes. Because of a standard circuit breakers inability to both monitor and protect a home and property from an Arc-Fault, it is highly suggested that Arc-Fault protection be installed. They are required on all new electrical work being done, but an older home can also benefit from the safety aspects of an AFCI.
At Switched Electric we have the knowledge and expertise working in the older homes in San Francisco and the Peninsula communities. We carry several types of AFCI devices from a number of manufacturers, so we can often get you project completed in a timely manner.
Call Switched Electric today if you would like to schedule a “Free Estimate” to go over you options to upgrade the safety in your home!