The Low Voltage Distribution Equipment Section (LVDE) of the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., has published a new white paper discussing the benefits of installing arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) during remodeling projects that require electrical work. AFCIs are an innovative form of circuit breaker that detect hidden dangers in a home's electrical system that could potentially ignite a deadly electrical fire.

In 2007 alone, Americans spent more than $235 billion on home remodeling, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Considering the high costs associated with home remodeling projects, safety experts with NEMA urge homeowners to add AFCIs to their list of upgrades when undertaking a remodeling project where electrical work is involved.

“AFCIs are a technological leap forward in home safety,” says Gerard Winstanley, LVDE technical program manager for NEMA. “A remodeling project requiring electrical work offers the homeowner the perfect opportunity to upgrade the home's electrical system with this cost-effective, life-saving device, which not only protects the new investment, but significantly decreases the risk of losing loved ones in an electrical fire.”

The white paper, Home Remodeling & AFCI Protection, reviews various remodeling scenarios where the home's electrical system may need to be altered in some form. Common projects such as finishing a basement, converting attic space into a bedroom, or removing a wall to open up a room, may require extensive electrical work in order to accommodate the addition of lighting fixtures and electrical outlets, moving wall receptacles and replacing older and/or adding new wiring.

“If a homeowner is willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to remodel a specific area of a home, it makes sense to take that opportunity to ensure the long-term investment and the electrical work involved is further protected from conditions that may spark an electrical fire,” said Winstanley.

The white paper can be found at www.AFCIsafety.org along with additional educational resources, expert endorsements and testimonials and links to AFCI supporters and manufacturers.

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