ESFI: Your Home Electrical System

Your Home Electrical System According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in an estimated 43,700 home fires in 2011. These fires caused 430 deaths, 1,620 injuries, and $1.5 billion in property damage. In half of the fires started by electrical failures or malfunctions some type of electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in ignition. The good news is that many home electrical fires can be prevented if you are able to recognize the warning signs your home may be showing. The most important step you can take is to learn about your home’s electrical system. Once you are familiar with your system and how it works, you will be better able to identify potential hazards. The following are some things you should know about your home’s electrical system: What’s inside my service panel? What kind of wiring system is in my home? Does my home have grounded outlets? What is a Tamper […]

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Safe and Sound Electric

AFCI Breakers Prevent Fires, Increase Home Safety

Are arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) worth the cost? Short answer: Absolutely. When Wade Anderson awoke one day to find no electricity in his Sherwood, Oregon, bedroom, he traced it to a burned-out open wire — a fire hazard. He called an electrician to add a new circuit and install arc fault circuit interrupters, also known as AFCI, to his breakers. “Had I installed AFCIs in that bedroom earlier, the bad circuit would have been revealed sooner, avoiding a close call on a fire,” the Angie’s List member says. “Arc faults are more likely as wiring ages, so AFCIs are a wise upgrade for older homes.” Experts say AFCI breakers can prevent fire hazards by cutting off power in the breaker box as soon as they detect the “electric signature” — sharp spikes and drops in voltage — that indicate a fault. Arc faults occur when electricity discharges at unintended points, such as corroded or loose wires, creating dangerous sparks or excessive heat. […]

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