NEC AFCI Considerations

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are an important electrical fire prevention and safety requirement of the National Electrical Code (NEC®), which first required them beginning in 1999. AFCIs help protect individuals and families from injuries and/or death by detecting dangerous arcing in electrical wires and shutting down an electrical system before a fire can start.

In the 2020 edition of the NEC®, Section 210.12 requires that for dwelling units, all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by AFCIs.

Nationwide, residential and electrical code adoption committees have continued to update individual state code requirements to the NEC®.

This section of provides additional factual materials for code committees, state leaders and others to consider as individual code standards are reviewed and updated to meet the 2020 NEC® AFCI requirements.