On average, fires of electrical origin damage more than 400 homes in one day in the U.S., sometimes causing injury and death. A major portion of these fires result from arc faults. Arching generates high intensity heat and expels burning particles which can easily ignite combustible materials.
Arc faults can start fires anywhere in the home. They start silently, often in interior walls or other places hidden from view. They can be caused by something as innocent as puncturing wire insulation while hanging a picture or pushing furniture against an electrical plug.
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (A.F.C.I.s), provides protection from the effects of arc-faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arching, and then de-energizing the circuit upon detection of the arc.
There are many conditions in which arching frequently results and may lead to fire.
Here are some examples:
Loose or improper connections
Frayed or ruptured appliance or extension cords
Pinched or pierced insulation on construction wire or appliance or extension cords, such as from staples or other fasteners.
Cracked insulation on wire or cords from age, heat, corrosion, or bending stress.
Overheated wire or cords
Damaged appliances in which support or insulation for energized electrical parts is impaired
Wires or cords touching vibrating metal.
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Panel