Differentiating Between GFCI and AFCI Outlets

Every year in the United States, fires and accidents caused by electrical hazards result in about 4,400 injuries, 400 deaths and an estimated $1.6 billion in property damage. As a home or business owner, electrical safety should be one of your top priorities. This will not only benefit you, but your family members and customers as well. 

GFCI and AFCI outlets are two of the most crucial safety devices your home or business can have to protect against potential fires and other electrical hazards. Bailey & Shipp Electric, one of the top electrical contractors in the local area, discusses their differences below.

About GFCI Outlets

GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. It’s a device installed in areas of your home or business where there’s an increased risk of shock due to water or electrical hazards. These include bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms, wet bars, garages, spa and pool areas and your property’s exterior.Its job is to monitor electrical current throughout the home or commercial property. If there’s an imbalance in the flow of power, whether it’s a sudden surge or a loss of power, it will automatically turn off the affected circuit. This small circuit breaker is built right into an outlet to protect you from getting electrocuted.

About AFCI Outlets

AFCI stands for arc-fault circuit interrupter. An electrician incorporates it into the main service panel to protect your property from electrical fires due to arcing. Arcing occurs when a plugged device overheats or a nail is driven through a wire. The stray current caused by damaged or loose wiring is what causes these dangerous fires.The job of an AFCI outlet is to detect arcing across the circuit. Like the GFCI outlet, if it detects one, it will interrupt or stop the flow of power to the outlet before damage can occur.

Bailey & Shipp Electric is one of the leading residential and commercial electrical contractors in the area. Turn to us if you need to protect your property’s electrical system against potential hazards. Call us today at (410) 457-3507 or fill out our contact form to request service. We serve residents of Washington DC, Northern Virginia, VA, and surrounding areas.

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