Every year, fires in homes are caused by electrical wiring, outlets, switches, and power cords. They can cause massage damage to the home or injuries and death to people in the home. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) says that nearly 51,000 fires each year are home electrical fires. In one year, they can cause almost 500 deaths, over 1,400 injuries, and can lead to more than $1.3 billion in property damage.
Circuit Breakers and What They Do
More and more homes today are built with circuit breakers. They’re safer than fuses when they’re installed with a modern electrical system. Today’s circuit breakers are designed to prevent electrical fires and shocks in homes.
Circuit breakers are designed to keep people and homes safe from electrical hazards that may otherwise be undetectable. They are designed to shut off power when an issue is detected that could lead to an electrical fire or a shock. There are a few different types of circuit breakers available right now.
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)
This is the type of circuit breaker designed to protect against arc faults. An arc fault is a dangerous electrical issue that’s typically caused by electrical wiring or devices that are damaged, overheated, or stressed. These arcs can lead to extremely high temperatures and sparks that can possibly ignite any flammable items nearby.
An AFCI is designed to monitor the circuit so it can stop the current flow if it detects a potentially dangerous condition. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), it’s estimated that AFCIs help prevent more than half of the electrical fires that can occur every year.
As of 2017, the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires the installation of AFCI for circuits in all areas of new homes except bathrooms, garages, and outdoors. They can be installed in a breaker panel or as a wall outlet. Different types of AFCIs are available, including a combination breaker AFCI, dual AFCI, branch or feeder AFCI breakers, and GFCI breakers. An electrician is needed to choose the best type for your home.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
This type of circuit breaker is designed to protect people and homes from electrical shocks caused by ground faults. Ground faults occur when there is an electrical path accidentally created between electrical current and a grounded surface. The GFCI can sense the ground fault and shut off the circuit. An example of this is when someone is in contact with a faulty appliance and a grounded surface.
GFCI breakers are needed where water sources might be present. They’re often used in bathrooms, garages, and outside areas of the home. They can be installed as a circuit breaker or as an outlet and can significantly prevent serious electrical shock to people inside the home.
Circuit breakers are designed to add more protection against both fires and shocks inside your home. However, a qualified electrician is needed to choose and install the right devices for your home. If you do ever experience fire and smoke damage in Springfield Missouri to your home, contact the professionals at PuroClean Certified Restoration for a repair estimate.