Why AFCIs?

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Description: Arc-fault circuit interruption has its roots in a 1993 proposal by the Electronic Industries Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to reduce the trip level of circuit breakers to help prevent arc faults.1 In conjunction with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), the CPSC did a study that found that AFCIs were the most promising technology to address the problem. [...] the Ohio Chapter of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors completed a study in 2008 that estimated the cost impact to be less than 20 cents per square foot (0.09 square meters).2 The study researched the cost for a combination AFCI device and multiple receptacle types from a local distributor, then applied those costs to three home types: * 900-square-foot (84-square-meter) home: $160.18, or 18 cents per square foot (0.09 square meters) * 1,700-square-foot (158-square-meter) home: $205.27, or 12 cents per square foot (0.09 square meters) * 2,100-square-foot (195-square-meter) home: $241.36, or 11 cents per square foot (0.09 square meters) To some, those cost estimates might seem high in light of the fact that AFCIs do not have the "cool factor" possessed by other features of a new home, such as decorative lighting or granite countertops.
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