Carbon Monoxide Detectors

In May 2010, the state of California enacted a law requiring home owners to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. According to the California Air Resources Board, 30 to 40 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. The senate bill, also known as the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act, states that those deaths were avoidable. According to the bill, the California law will help prevent further deaths and increase awareness.

Electrical Circuit Interrupters

Protective devices capable of responding to overloads and short circuit, such as circuit breakers, have been available for a number of years. Newer technologies now provide enhanced protection from arcing or ground-faults, which may prevent fires or shock.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI's)

When an electrical switch is opened or closed, an arc, or discharge of electricity across a circuit occurs. Unintentional arcs can occur at loose connections or where wires or cords have been damaged. Such arcs can lead to high temperatures and sparking, possibly igniting combustibles. AFCIs (arc-fault circuit-interrupters) protect against fire by continuously monitoring the electrical current in a circuit and shutting off the circuit when unintended arcing occurs. These devices are designed to discriminate between unintended arcing and the type of arcing that occurs when a switch is operated.

AFCI installation is required by the National Electrical Code(NEC) in bedrooms of new residential construction. Bedrooms were selected as the first area in which to implement this requirement because of a history of fires there.

  • AFCIs will save lives and make homes safer. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year home electrical problems cause about 70,000 fires, resulting in 485 deaths and
    $868 million in property loss.

GFCI installation is required by the NEC for receptacles in kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor areas, basements and garages in new residential construction because of a history of shock hazards in these areas.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI's)

A ground-fault is an unintentional electrical path between a source of electrical current and a grounded surface. Electrical shock can occur if a person comes into contact with an energized part. GFCIs can greatly reduce the risk of shock by immediately shutting off an electrical circuit when that circuit represents a shock hazard (i.e., a person comes in contact with a faulty appliance together with a grounded surface). GFCIs can be installed in a circuit breaker panelboard or directly in a receptacle outlet.

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