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Electricity arcs are when a current “jumps” a gap from one medium to another. These are completely fine when they are part of a planned system. An arc fault is when an electrical current “jumps” over an unplanned path. These unintentional jumps can easily ignite surrounding materials causing a fire. Arc faults can be caused by many things including:
- Worn electrical insulation
- Wet connectors or conduit
- Shorted or damaged wires
- Overheated electrical cords or wires
- Damaged appliances
- Loose electrical connections
An AFCI utilizes advanced electronic technology that can sense different arcing conditions, unlike a standard circuit breaker that just detects overloads and short circuits. An AFCI can distinguish between normal arcs and ones that are abnormal and dangerous. The AFCI will stop any dangerous arcs before any damage can occur.
Home wiring problems, like unplanned arcing and sparking, are associated with thousands of Canadian home fires each year, leading to hundreds of injuries and more than $180M in damages. An AFCI is your first line of defense against these disasters. While the code only requires them in bedroom circuits, all of your home’s circuits can benefit from their protection.