Welcome to AFCISafety.org! This site is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive factual information on Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters and is supported by the National Electrical Manufacturer Association Low Voltage Distribution Equipment Section, comprised of AFCI manufacturers.
In 1980, the U.S. experienced a peak of more than 75,000 residential electrical fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Today, more than 20 years after becoming a NEC requirement, AFCIs have helped lead the way in new safety technologies and improved construction materials to help reduce electrical house fires.
Today, the United States has seen a significant decrease in the number of residential electrical fires over the last four decades, most recently, a new report published by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) shows fewer than 25,000 occurring each year between 2017-2019 with related deaths falling by 15 percent and injuries by 20 percent during that same time.
HOW AFCIs HELP REDUCE ELECTRICAL FIRES
In 1992, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) contracted with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to provide research and evaluation of products and technology that could help reduce the likelihood of residential fires. UL identified an electrical hazard called “arcing faults” that could lead to the ignition of a fire as one possible cause of residential fires. Situations creating these arcs included appliance defects or misuse, incorrectly installed wiring, or misapplied extension cords that resulted in electrical hazards.
The UL/CPSC information was provided to the electrical industry to create a solution to help prevent these types of fires by detecting arcing faults and shutting down an electrical system before a fire could start. Using this research, electrical manufacturers created an arc fault circuit interrupter or AFCI. AFCIs received rigorous testing by UL and became a permanent requirement in the National Electrical Code beginning in 1999.
AFCI use has expanded over the years from required use in bedrooms to hallways, family rooms and dining rooms, to kitchens and laundry rooms. All while protecting the public from electrical fires. AFCIs are currently required in the electrical code in 48 states.
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Virtual Demonstration
Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) can prevent many of the home electrical fires that kill and injure hundreds of people each year in the United States. This video shows exactly how this critical safety technology works to provide enhanced electrical fire protection for the home. (2010)