Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are electrical safety devices that look very similar to GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) but have a completely different purpose. While GFCIs are designed to prevent homeowners from having an electrical shock, AFCIs are designed to detect potentially dangerous electrical arc faults causing electrical fires.  Arcing faults are one of the major causes of residential electrical fires. When arcing occurs, it generates high temperatures up to 10,000°F that can easily ignite combustible materials in the home such as wood, curtains, papers and carpets.

An arc fault is the flow of electricity over an unintended path. The main function of an AFCI is to detect, recognize and respond to changes in the electrical wave pattern. Once an AFCI detects hazardous arcing, which is characterized by unwanted changes in the wave pattern, it quickly turns off the circuit thus reducing the potential for a fire to occur.  

Arc faults arise in various situations which include improperly installed or damaged electrical wires, worn electrical insulation, loose electrical connections, wires or cords that are overheated and stressed and/or in contact with vibrating metal and so on.

Over the years, the National Electric Code (NEC) provides an ever-expanding list of dwelling areas in the home that require AFCI protection. This includes:



Kern River Home Inspections strongly recommends homeowners in Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, Delano, Lake Isabella and all of Kern County to consider having AFCI protection installed in the above-mentioned areas as a safety precaution. Ensuring high standards of safety is our absolute priority. If you would like to look for the presence of AFCI outlets in recommended locations or test if outlets are AFCI protected, consider hiring the best home inspection company in Kern County! Contact Kern River Home Inspections TODAY at or you can call or text 661-205-9172.