AFCIs and the NEC
Since the 2008 edition, the National Electrical Code has included significantly expanded requirements for AFCI protection in all new homes. However, these new provisions do not become effective unless the current edition of the Code is formally adopted into state and local electrical codes. State adoption and enforcement of the NEC with its AFCI intact is key to preventing fires, protecting homes, and saving lives.
Home builders in some states have challenged the increased requirements for AFCI technology, claiming that these devices will significantly increase the cost of a home while making very little difference in improving safety.
Safety advocates maintain that the added cost for AFCI protection is well worth the benefits the technology provides to the homeowner. Depending on the size of a given home, the cost impact for installing additional AFCI protection in a home is $140 - $350.
The debate surrounding this technology has led some states to remove the additional AFCI requirements from the code during the adoption process. In 2005, Indiana became the first and only state to remove AFCI provisions that were originally included in the state’s electrical code.
Source: National Electrical Safety Foundation www.esfi.org