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GFCI & AFCI Protection



A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is an inexpensive electrical device that, if installed in a household branch circuits, could prevent over two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions still occurring each year in and around the home.

Installation of the device could also prevent thousands of burn and electric shock injuries each year. Currently most jurisdictions require GFCI protection for every receptacle outlet and motor connection in every location where someone might be in a moist, wet or damp environment. This means everywhere in a bathroom, all the countertop outlets in the kitchen, and within six feet of the sink in the wet bar. It also means everywhere outside.  

Receptacle-type GFCIs may be installed by knowledgeable consumers familiar with electrical wiring practices who also follow the instructions accompanying the device. You can find a good step-by-step guide to installing a receptacle GFCI at When in doubt about the proper procedure, do not attempt to install it yourself. Instead, contact a qualified electrician.  

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) provide protection against arcing in fixed wiring, appliance cords and extension cords. The United States Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) have called AFCI the “most promising fire protection technology since the advent of the smoke detector”.

Conventional circuit breakers respond to overloads and short circuits. They do not protect against arcing conditions that produce erratic current. Like circuit breakers, AFCIs protect against short circuits and overloads, but also protect against arcs by electronically identifying the unique current and voltage characteristics of arc fault and de-energizing the circuit when arc faults occur.


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