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Old 02-19-2014, 03:39 PM  
nealtw
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Why should they be installed in homes?
AFCIs will save lives and make homes safer. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year home electrical problems cause about 70,000 fires, resulting in 485 deaths and $868 million in property loss.
http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/electrical/electrical-circuit-interrupters



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Old 02-20-2014, 05:50 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealtw View Post
...each year home electrical problems cause about 70,000 fires, resulting in 485 deaths and $868 million in property loss.
With maybe 100M dwellings and 330M people in the U.S. this is not a big safety hazard. Vehicle deaths are about 30K per year and tobacco related deaths are ~500 per day.

But, in any case, how has this changed from what the numbers were before AFCIs?

You might be interested in reading
http://www.amazon.com/unSpun-Finding-Facts-World-Disinformation/dp/1400065666
Everybody talks about fact-checking but this book actually tells how to do it.

And this book
http://www.amazon.com/Risk-Practical-Deciding-Really-Dangerous/dp/0618143726/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392900657&sr=8-1&keywords=risk+ropeik
really opened my eyes.


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Old 02-20-2014, 07:10 AM  
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They are new in the grand picture, you will have to waite some time for the other half of those numbers.

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Old 02-20-2014, 07:42 AM  
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I find myself wanting to agree with Wuz here and on unfamiliar territory doing so. Sorry Wuz a bit of an attempt at humor.

I tend to want to look at the big picture and the most bang for the buck as they say. Of course in a perfect world we would do everything in terms of safety all at once and adopt every new item as they come along but in the real world we have to do the best we can with what we have. I live in an area where we have lots of Amish and they believe in no electricity (except when they can use someone else’s) so they have gas lights and wood stoves and candles and lanterns. I don’t have the stats but from what I have seen they have zero deaths caused by arc faults per year in their homes, but have quite a few fire related ones from other causes. Point being some statistician could make a valid case for doing away with electricity pointing to the facts above.

Dollar for dollar what would save more lives a smoke detector or an arc fault detector that I don’t know and of course both are better.

I think Wuz’s point is there is always going to be arcing with switching and the device has to recognize an arc signature and determine good from bad. He being the inquisitive type wants to know what that signature is and no one is providing that information. I agree every life saved is worth it but at what cost. There is no end to safety measures only drawing a line at some level of acceptability. I have no idea about where that line is or how good these things work.

I could make an analogy though suppose I determine that rodents eat thru wires and cause shorts and I have an annual death count from such. One method would be to install AFCI breakers another would be a method of rodent control. Statistically maybe I could prove getting rid of the rodents would over all save more lives from all rodent related causes, but electrical related deaths would show getting rid of rodents was only part of the arc related causes of death. Knowing the statistics is always good but also easy to use to prove something in one direction or the other. I have no clue what the big picture is on this issue but I do understand Wuz’s point on this one.

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Old 02-20-2014, 07:50 AM  
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Wuzz may be right but the same questions come up with any new safety device.

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Old 02-20-2014, 08:26 AM  
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That’s what’s great about living in a free country, as much as we sometimes don’t agree we are allowed to debate and question. The process of doing that is a good one even when it is frustrating to one side of the debate. It forces the other side to be open and totally prove their side. Without such we have people that want to force an idea along to the finish line and sometimes call those that don’t agree “Members of the Flat Earth Society”. One of my biggest fears is the population is slowly dumbing down and becoming complacent to everything they are told. That never has ended well in history.

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Old 02-20-2014, 10:03 AM  
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Someone mention fire?
http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2010/07/murphy-firefighter-arsonists.html

Here's what may sell some of these gadgets
"Humans have a zero-risk bias. This means we will opt for a small reduction in a risk to totally eliminate it rather than a larger reduction in a more significant risk. This is because we tend to choose more certain benefits (even if they are small) over larger, less uncertain benefits."
from
http://www.rmmagazine.com/2010/10/01/making-risk-assessments-useful/

And this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

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Old 02-20-2014, 05:18 PM  
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Most people want to carry on with carrying on and then will change with new rules. But if someone they think they can trust says no way, they will want to go back to carrying on. Especially if the old way was cheaper. It works well for polititions, facts be dammed.

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Old 03-31-2014, 06:24 AM  
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I would suggest that you might want to check your building codes to see what is required. I believe there is a code requirement that AFCI's be used in all bedrooms for code requirements. A good way to see which you should/can do would be to have a license electrician come in and give you an estimate on doing the work which would give you the how and why's of doing this to keep you family safe.

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Old 03-31-2014, 11:16 AM  
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Try to get AFCIs that are made to the latest patents, probably with patent numbers like 6,000,000 and higher. These newer devices may be less sensitive to nearby radio transmitters and other things that cause false alarms and having to replace switches & motors before they are worn out.

http://www.google.com/patents/US6414829

Troubleshooting these things is pretty hard because they are go/nogo devices but Siemens makes a gadget to do this called Intelli-arc and there's a video on this. This thing tells you how close you are to tripping an AFCI and so you can find out why.



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