Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters VS Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters

The world of electricity is filled with acronyms and abbreviations – CFL (compact florescent light), kW (kilowatt), AC (alternating current), andgfci POV (peak operating voltage).  GFCI (ground fault interrupters) and AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupters) are also common electrical abbreviations. They both help protect your outlets from electrical accidents.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters help prevent burns, electric shocks and electrocution.  A GFCI has sensors that measure the current going  in and out. Normally, the current is balanced. However, if the current is out of balance, something is wrong. The electric current has made contact with a human, or somewhere else it should not be. The GFCI senses this and instantly shuts down the circuit, stopping the flow of electricity. Since water is an electric conductor, GFCIs are important in areas where water and electricity could meet, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and garages.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters help prevent electric fires. Electricity can leak out of damaged or decaying wires and start a fire. These fires spread quickly in the wiring behind walls. Electric fires cause more damage than other types of fire, and are twice as deadly. AFCIs sense that electricity is leaking from the electric system and shut electricity off before overheating happens.  

GFCIs prevent shocks, and AFCIs prevent fires. Both should be installed by a qualified electrician to make your home safer. 


Combination Smoke/CO Alarms

A combination Smoke/CO Alarm makes it easy to provide both types of protection throughout the home. Industry experts recommend a CO alarm be installed on each level of the home - ideally on any level with fuel burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. Therefore, a combination alarm can satisfy one of your smoke alarm location requirements as well as a carbon monoxide location.

Placement of Smoke Alarms

In a typical home fire, occupants have just minutes to escape. And because smoke in one area may not reach a smoke alarm in another, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends placement of at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home (including basements) and in every bedroom , and outside each sleeping area. The NFPA also recommends interconnection of alarms to provide better whole-home protection than stand-alone alarms. Leading authorities recommend that both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms be installed to help insure maximum detection of the various types of fires that can occur within the home. Ionization sensing alarms may detect invisible fire particles (associated with fast flaming fires) sooner than photoelectric alarms. Photoelectric sensing alarms may detect visible fire particles (associated with slow smoldering fires) sooner than ionization alarms.


Learning the basics of fire safety is the first step in fighting fire – and it just so happens to be the most important.

Understanding the best ways to protect your home and family or your business from fire should always be at the top of your to-do list. From selecting fire extinguishers and smoke alarms to knowing your state’s laws, fire safety 101 begins now.

Placement of Fire Extinguishers

For example,A good quality kitchen fire extinguisher has a proprietary nozzle design that allows a broad, dispersed discharge of agent that delivers a high volume, low velocity delivery of dry chemical. This is the only fire extinguisher UL-Listed for residential cooking equipment. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides minimum recommendations for the home:

Step 1: Choose Primary Fire Extinguishers (Must-Have)

For your main home protection install a 2-A:10-B-C rated extinguisher on every level of your home - no more than 40 feet apart. This could include locations such as living areas, garages, and workshops.

Step 2: Choose Supplementary Fire Extinguishers (Should Have)

The kitchen is the likeliest place you will have a fire. Protect special locations in your home with a UL rated fire extinguisher.