In many parts of the country, electricians
will soon begin installing a new
type of circuit breaker: the arc-fault circuit
interrupter, or AFCI. These safety
devices are intended to detect the kind
of electrical arcs that can cause fires.
Both the 1999 and 2002 versions of the
National Electric Code (NEC) require the
installation, beginning January 1, 2002,
of AFCIs on all residential bedroom circuits
What Do AFCIs Do?
An AFCI will trip under different circumstances
than a conventional circuit
breaker or GFCI, neither of which is
designed to protect a house from fire.
The main purpose of a conventional
circuit breaker is to protect wires from
overheating, while GFCI breakers are
intended to protect people from