Never Heard of an AFCI? It May Save Your Home Someday!

“I want the new picture right there, dear.” With those explicit instructions you begin hanging a large picture and frame above the sofa. Because of its size and weight, you use a large nail, find the stud, and begin to pound.

However, hidden behind the wallboard was a wire that provided electricity to a wall outlet behind the sofa. Your nail penetrated the wallboard, clipped the edge of the stud, and poked deep into the wire tearing the insulation and shorting the electrical circuit to the living room. The wall soon became hot, a smoke odor was prevalent, fire erupted behind the wall, and down fell the new picture you just hung. Never mind that the picture and frame were destroyed, your house was on fire!

Hours later the fire inspector finds you sifting through the remains of your home and asks what you might know about the start of the fire. Taking notes, he writes, “hanging picture, nail through the wallboard,” and he stops to ask if you had an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Since you have never heard of one, he explains that an AFCI would have saved your home, and for a few dollars, it would have detected the short circuit behind the wallboard, cut the power to the circuit, and you would be living in your home, instead of at your in-laws.

Arc faults are common, and cause many of the electrical fires in homes every year. When unwanted arcing occurs, the electricity raises the temperature, which can cause combustion to wood, paper, wallboard, and carpet. Such faults occur where circuits have been damaged in some way—whether the wires were damaged or failed because the aged insulation deteriorated. Other reasons include improperly installed switches and outlets, cords mashed by doors or under furniture legs, and various environmental conditions.

An AFCI monitors the current flow, and when it senses an unwanted arcing condition, the circuitry trips the internal contacts and interrupts the circuit before a fire can occur. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says, “AFCIs are designed into conventional circuit breakers combining traditional overload and short-circuit protection with arc fault protection. AFCI circuit breakers (AFCIs) have a test button and look similar to ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) circuit breakers. Some designs combine GFCI and AFCI protection.”

The BLP is a member of Safe Electricity.org for the purpose of bringing relevant content to our customers and followers.  For more electrical safety information, visit SafeElectricity.org.

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Auto Accidents with Power Poles!

Auto Accidents with Power Poles
With students back in the swing of school, two October Observances draw attention to driving safety:
• National School Bus Safety Week: Oct. 20-24
• National Teen Driver Safety Week: Oct. 19-25
Make sure that you, your teen drivers, and anyone driving your children has knowledge of what to do in case of a situation of an auto accident with down power lines because luck may not always be on your side. Watch this 30 second video on Auto Accidents & Downed Power Poles video: http://bit.ly/1qU3gHg

Electrical Outlet — Quick and Easy Halloween Costume

Fun Electrical Outlet Costume!

Fun Times Three

Electrical Outlet shirt

Having a hard time deciding on a costume to wear on Halloween? Well, you can’t get much easier or quicker than this electrical outlet shirt!

Also, this shirt can be evergreen. Wear it every year instead of having to go through the mental anguish of deciding what costume you’ll pick for each Halloween. That decision will be made much easier: I’ll be an electrical outlet again! Yes!

And you can wear it any day — not just on Halloween. It’s a funny shirt, not just a costume.

This isn’t one of my designs. It’s brought to you from the CuteNComfy store.

Also, this store offers an outlet as a sticker that could be a fun prank. When you’re at a friend’s house and slap this sticker on the wall, all secret like, you just might surprise them. “Hey, I don’t remember an outlet here. How convenient, and I can plug…

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