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Arc Fault Protection: Keeping Us Safe One Circuit At A Time
An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is a new method of keeping you and your family safer. Arc fault protection is a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of things, but nonetheless, this is an important concept that is still in its infancy. Arcing is a luminous electrical discharge that passes across a medium that has been insulated. As you can imagine, arcing can be extremely dangerous and hazardous. In a home environment, arcing can cause a breaker or circuit to trip – if you are lucky. Home fires can occur if you are not so lucky.
AFCI protection, or arc fault protection, comes in a variety of types to insure you and yours the most protection possible. The National Electrical Code (NEC) has set standards are where this protection must be placed in the construction of new homes. The conventional circuit boxes or breakers we see today do not respond to the arcing or such conditions; they only respond to short circuits or overloads. An AFCI, however, is more selective and only trip when anything but the normality for arcs is present. This AFCI circuitry is always monitoring the active and current flow of electricity through the AFCI.
Working around electricity today in any form may mean you require appropriate levels of arc fault protection in your work wear. This is not as commonplace as many types of work wear today, but thanks to manufacturers who understand this growing necessity, there are viable options allowing you to choose jackets, shirts, pants, and footwear that meet the requirements for safety in this growing field. There are even full body coveralls or safe suits depending on the hazard risk category.
What is it you need? The answer will depend on your workplace environment and the strict NEC codes in place as well as the regulatory standards of your workplace. Asking a manager or supervisor may prove beneficial, but today, educational facilities teach the necessary safeguards for the risk categories. However, if you are not sure of the requirements, you should not attempt to purchase arc fault protection without first knowing exactly what you need.
Working around live electricity is always dangerous and a scary situation. However, there are individuals who must do this in order to keep the rest of us safe. There is a rating system called the “ARC Rating” when it comes to the work wear you purchase that will insure safety for those brave and dedicated individuals working with live electricity. Arcing can cause temperatures of 5000 degree Fahrenheit or more. Is it any wonder that professional needs the appropriate level of protection to avoid injury and death?
Employers are responsible for having labels or signs nearby when it comes to this possibility. You will find that the flash hazard category as well as the minimum rating required is pasted on these labels. The work wear you purchase whether you are wearing t-shirts, long pants, or flame resistant coveralls and hardhats, will come with an appropriate rating and minimum level of protective properties provided. Keeping it safe starts with understanding the principles of why arc fault protection is such a necessity in our hectic and often hazardous world.
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