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How Circuit Breakers Help Prevent Home Fires

How Circuit Breakers Help Prevent Home Fires

Sometimes, electrical equipment suffers some kind of damage, which can lead to fires, injuries, and even death. Did you know that 20 percent of all fires in Canada are due to electrical malfunctions? That’s a lot of fires. In recent times, however, electricians have been using circuit breakers, devices that help prevent electrical fires and accidents in properties. Here’s why circuit breaker protection is important.

Circuit Breakers Protection Against Electrical Fires and Shocks

Circuit breakers often prevent electrical fires and shocks in properties. Over the past years, newer homes have come with circuit breakers as they provide more safety than fuses when installed with modern electrical systems.

The purpose of circuit breakers today is to help keep properties safe from electrical hazards that were previously undetectable. A circuit breaker shuts off power when it detects an issue on a circuit that may lead to an electrical fire or shock. To gain a better understanding of how circuit breakers protect a property, here’s a look at the two types of circuit breakers.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

These devices protect against arc faults — dangerous electrical problems caused by damaged, overheated or stressed electrical wiring or devices. Arc faults can occur, for example, when a nail or screw damages a wire behind a wall, or when outlets or circuits are overburdened. Such arcs can lead to high temperatures and sparking, possibly igniting the flammable items nearby.

AFCIs monitor the circuit and stop the current flow when a potentially dangerous condition is detected. Studies show that AFCIs could prevent more than half of the electrical fires that occur every year.

AFCI installation is required by the Canadian Electrical Code for circuits in all areas of new homes, excluding bathrooms, garages, and outside areas. AFCIs can be installed as a circuit breaker in a breaker panel or as a wall outlet.

There are several types of AFCIs, such as combination breaker AFCI, branch/feeder AFCI breaker, and dual AFCI, and GFCI breakers. An electrician should know the best type of AFCI protection in a home.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

GFCIs provide circuit breaker protection against the dangers of electrical shock caused by ground faults. A ground fault is an accidental electrical path between a source of electrical current and a grounded surface. GFCIs sense ground faults and shut off the circuit when, for example, a person comes in contact with a faulty appliance, together with a grounded surface.

These circuit breakers are necessary on circuits where water sources may be present — bathrooms, garages, outside areas, and in spa areas within the home. Like AFCIs, GFCIs can be installed as a circuit breaker in a panelboard or as an outlet. They can greatly prevent serious electrical shock to people.

Without question, circuit breakers add more protection against fires and shocks in your home. However, always consult a qualified electrician when choosing and installing such devices.

For professional fire damage repair and smoke odour removal, contact your local PuroClean office

Having circuit breaker protection in properties can help prevent fires, but, unfortunately, it’s not a guarantee. If a fire occurs, PuroClean stands ready to provide property owners with fire damage restoration and smoke cleanup services 24/7. Our technicians will bring any fire-damaged property to pre-loss condition with compassion and urgency.