The Low Voltage Distribution Equipment section (LVDE) of the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., has published a white paper urging builders, electrical contractors and anyone involved in residential construction to educate home buyers on potential life-saving devices as a part of their customer upgrade conversations. The paper highlights the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), a relatively inexpensive, yet highly effective safety measure developed in response to an identified electrical problem that causes home fires.

The paper analyzes the overall cost of some popular upgrades homeowners make to their home either in the building or remodeling process, and advises homeowners to seriously consider selecting safety upgrades that may protect their investment.

“While granite countertops, heated floors, custom-built kitchen cabinets and other luxury upgrades may generate a good return when it comes time to sell, homeowners should take a safety-first approach and consider smart upgrades that actually protect their investment and potentially the lives of their loved ones,” says Gerard Winstanley, LVDE technical program manager for NEMA.

Upgrades and options are an integral part of the home-building and planning process. On average, new homes built in the United States feature an additional 10 percent in luxury upgrades. The upgrade trend isn't just reserved for the home-building process. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, D.C., Americans will spend nearly $233 billion on home remodeling in 2007.

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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