DIY Frequently Asked Questions / Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter')">
An arc fault occurs when the insulation surrounding wire and cable is damaged or deteriorates. The arc fault can flare at temperatures in excess of 10,000ºF and ignite surrounding combustible material.
Standard circuit breakers do not respond quickly enough to arc faults. An arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) recognizes an arcing fault and acts instantly.
The National Electrical Code® (NEC) requires AFCIs be used in new construction on all bedroom circuits, family rooms, dining rooms, closets and hallways.