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      Arc Fault Detection Devices

      An AFDD prevents the risk of fire when it detects an arc fault in a circuit and isolates the faulty circuit.

    Arc Fault Detection Devices reduce the risk of electrical fire

    Broken wires, loose connections, crushed cables can all cause hidden arc faults in electrical circuits, which if left undetected, can erupt into flames in just seconds. AFDDs isolate the faulty circuit the moment an arc fault occurs.

    Arc faults are one of the main causes of electrical fires
    Electrical fires due to arc faults are surprisingly common especially in older homes, causing considerable damage to property, injuries and deaths in Europe each year.

    • 280000 electrical fires are reported in Europe each year.
    • 86% of homes that catch fire are more than 25 years old.
    • 1000 killed due to electrical fires in homes.
    • 70% of fires in homes start at night.
    • €6.25 billion spent on damages caused by electric fires in homes.
    • 3 minutes is all it takes for a fire to involve an entire room.
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    Hidden Danger

    An arc fault is not always easy to see, since it can occur in hidden places such as damaged cables, inside walls, a loose connection in a hidden junction box, or outlet sockets.
    • Arc fault fires: how they start

      Very localised phenomena can cause an electrical fire. Check out this video to see how a loose wire in a standard multi-socket can arc and start a fire.

      How do arc faults occur?

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        Tight corners
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        Loose plugs
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        Fastener damage
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        Worn insulation
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        Exposed wires
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        Pinching
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        Poor termination
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        Pests
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        Crushing

      What is an Arc Fault Detection Device?

      An AFDD is a circuit breaker that automatically cuts the electricity supply when it detects an arc fault in a circuit. By immediately cutting off the electricity supply, AFDDs prevent arc faults from reaching temperatures where fires can break out.
      • An AFDD’s Purpose

        AFDDs fit into electrical switchboards alongside other protective equipment. When a fault is detected, the device immediately isolates the circuit, preventing ignition of flammable materials.

        An AFDD detects the appearance of electric arcs that are responsible for starting fires. They are extremely sensitive, designed to sense and respond only to potentially dangerous arcs.

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        Do AFDDs meet IEC standards?

        Schneider Electric AFDDs comply with IEC 62606, a new international standard covering product safety and performance. In addition, since 2014, the international rules recommend the use of AFDDs to protect against arc faults in final circuit according to the IEC/HD 60364-4-42.

        Can other protective devices replace AFDDs?


        Compact and easy to install, AFDDs fit into residential and building electrical switchboards, alongside other protective equipment. They cannot be replaced by any other protective device like miniature circuit breakers (MCBs), surge protection devices (SPDs), or residual current devices (RCDs). While these protect against specific electrical hazards, they are not designed to detect arc faults. For example, a smoke alarm is designed to alert occupants to the presence of smoke AFTER a fire has started, whereas AFDDs are designed to PREVENT a fire from starting.

        Learn how AFDDs protect homes

        Discover new advancements in the field of arc fault detection and identify the critical application for arc fault breakers to enhance home safety in our complimentary guide.
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        How to get support from your electrician