Each cycle of State adoptions of the National Electrical Code ® tends to focus on a couple of key changes in the NEC. For NEC 2008 those key changes are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) and tamper proof receptacles. Surprisingly this is having significant benefits for the electrical industry. Opposition to these devices has come from state home builders associations who have often used their political connections to sway the decision of the state board responsible for setting the electrical code. Support for these devices have come from fire marshals, electrical inspectors, contractors ESFI, CPSC and others.
For AFCIs the debate has reached TV News and newspapers and on a couple of occasions called for the intervention of Governors. All this has served to educate the public on the benefits of these devices. Homeowners now know there is a device sitting in their home constantly monitoring the circuits for arcing which will shut of the circuit and prevent an electrical fire from starting. Electrical contractors, who initially had concerns about unwanted tripping, have been reassured about the ability of AFCIs to reliably filter out noise and operate when needed. Even home builders are finding that, as buyers focus on value, safety can become a selling point.
For more information of AFCIs please go to www.AFCISafety.org