AFCI electrical breakers (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter)
In the main electrical service panel and in the rows of breakers that flip on or off there may be some that have a test button, These breakers can be AFCI breakers which protect the home and occupants against electrical arcing and fires, or they may be GFCI breakers (ground fault circuit interrupter) which protect against electrical shock.
AFCI breakers were implemented in response to electrical problems causing fires in a home as noted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other entities. They typically protect the bedroom circuits to prevent a dangerous arcing occurrence while the occupants may be sleeping and also may be installed to protect other circuits in the home as well An AFCI breaker provide a level of protection higher than a standard circuit breaker because it is designed to detect and stop the hazardous arcing should it occur.
Some examples of what AFCI breakers look like are shown below. In 2005 they were included into the National Electrical Code but many homes built before then were not required to have them. Contact Countywide Home Inspections to check your home for AFCI breakers and test them for proper operation. As with any electrical installation or repair , we recommend hiring a licensed electrician to install these relatively inexpensive safety breakers for your home should you decide to have them added into your electrical system.