Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) and its members are providing leadership and information on the importance of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) technology to prevent fires.
A significant factor in the value assessment and to remove any shadow of doubt concerning the technology’s safety benefits, Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) spent a good deal of time and effort, working with the Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) to objectively and independent of manufacturers scrutinize 14 years of OFM data (2000-2013) picking through all the fire statistics to specifically quantify those fires that could have been ‘prevented’, had AFCI technology been installed in those residential dwellings. To put this in perspective for all of Canada according to Statistics Canada, Ontario represents 40% of Canadian population, 31% of 2014 housing starts (totaling 189,329).
What does this mean for all Canadians on an annual basis?
Applying a statistically conservative effective mitigation rate of 50%:
- 546 preventable arc fault fires
- $26.27 million average property damage
- 43 average number of electrical arc fault fire related injuries
- $3.9 million average burden to health care
- 10.5 average preventable deaths
- $76.48 million saving
- Resulting in a $106.69 million in unnecessary cost burden to Canadians
## This total still does not include the costs associated with First Responders, or a number of other indirect costs.
How does that compare to the increased cost to install AFCI technology?
- 189,329 housing starts in Canada
- AFCI incremental cost of $300 per dwelling (approximately $100 for a smaller dwelling footprint)
- Additional energy use of $3.10 average per house per year
- Resulting in a $56.8 million additional cost per year for contractors to install AFCIs
- Early analysis of actual AFCI mitigation effectiveness indicates the technology is at least 76% to as much as 99% success to detect and protect homes against arc fault fires!
- Meaning AFCI technologies will have a net positive benefit of at least a ratio of 2.82 to as high as 3.67 to one compared to the cost of installation and usage for a small, one-time investment, that not only protects those families in those homes starting year one, but every family for the entire lifetime of each home! In addition any renovations will be brought up to latest code levels
Please click on this link to read the latest analysis describing how these numbers were derived.
Helpful background information about AFCI technologies
- Click here to view a brief History of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters
- Click here to view Purpose of AFCI Technology in Your Home
- Click here for sample video demonstrating how all AFCI technologies detects parallel and series arc fault works: combination AFCI breaker
- Click link for Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) presentation: Arc Fault Circuit Interruption Article – ESA-Jan 2014 (3).
- Click here for Safety article by ESA about fire prevention: Safety at minimal cost
- Click here to view EFC article: Canadian Home Builders Association Lobby Regulators to accept higher risk from Residential fires- October 19th, 2015
- Click here for description of AFCI and other Home Safety Devices on the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) website
- Click here for summary of the average cost of health care from burn victims in Canada
- The National Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA) in the United States also has information on their websites AFCI combination breaker and AFCI Safety Receptacles.
Letters of support for installation of AFCI technologies:
- Click here for letter from: International Association of Electrical Inspectors