Although the city of Centennial was only incorporated in 2001, the area that now makes up Centennial has been home to residents and businesses for decades. With a population of 104,000 people, Centennial is the 10th largest city in Colorado. It is also considered one of the most educated cities in the U.S.; over 50% of the population has college undergraduate degrees or higher, compared to the national average of just 22%. Add to this Centennial’s respectable school ratings and a low crime rate, and Centennial is one of the better places in the Greater Denver Metro Area to raise a family.
Nearly 80% of the housing in Centennial is single family detached housing. Surprisingly, over 95% of these homes are very likely to have electric service that is not as safe as it should be. If you live in Centennial and own a home built prior to 2008, then here is some very important information you need to know.
Why Are Homes Built Before 2008 at Risk?
In 2008, the National Electrical Code (NEC) made it mandatory that homebuilders use a new type of circuit breaker known as the arc-fault circuit breaker or arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) in all “ habitable areas” within a home including:
- family rooms
- dining rooms
- living rooms
- sun rooms
- recreation rooms
- and similar rooms or areas
Designed to help prevent electrical fires, the AFCI is able to detect overloads and short circuits just like traditional circuit breakers. However, unlike traditional circuit breakers, AFCIs are also able to respond to unintentional electrical arcs by interrupting the flow of current before the arc can cause a fire.
What Causes Electrical Arcs?
An electrical arc, also known as an arc-fault, is caused when two contacts make touch, resulting in sparking – or arcing – between the contacts. This arcing produces heat, which can melt the insulation around wires, resulting in further arcing and potentially an electrical fire. While traditional circuit breakers trip in the event of an overload or short circuit, an electrical arc usually will not cause a traditional circuit breaker or fuse to trip. One example of a rather common type of electrical arc is the buzzing, hissing or popping old or worn light switches make when flipped.
Protecting Your Home
If your home doesn’t have AFCIs or if you’re unsure whether or not you do, it is critical to have your home’s electric service evaluated by an experienced electrician as soon as possible. If your home doesn’t have AFCIs, upgrading your home’s electrical panel is a relatively small investment, especially when you consider the $1.5 billion in property damage and the 2,000 civilians killed or injured as a result of unsafe electric service each year.
APower is committed to the highest level of electrical safety and professional integrity. Our veteran team of fast and friendly electricians are fully licensed, insured and up-to-date on all of the latest electrical code regulations ensuring your electric service is as safe as possible. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Don’t assume the electric service hiding behind your walls is safe, because the odds are it is not. Contact APower today and ask about our home electric service evaluation. You owe it to your yourself and your family.