ACBMA logo

Learn more about Arc Faults

What is an arc fault?

There are two kinds of arcing faults. Both have the potential to ignite a fire.

arc fault

A parallel arc, also known as a high-current arc, is an arc that jumps between the hot and neutral wires, or the hot and ground wires.
parallel-arc
Conditions for a parallel arc can be created when a nail is driven through a cable, a staple is installed too tightly around a cable, or the cable insulation is damaged by something sharp like a truss gusset.

A series arc, also known as a low-current arc, occurs across a gap on a single conductor.
serial-arc
Conditions for a series arc can be created if a conductor is crushed, a connection is loose, or the conductor is pulled apart.

Other Resources

Frequently asked questions
FAQs from ACBMA

Phoenix Society's Pam Elliott advocates for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters
Burn survivor Pam Elliott speaking at the November 2014 Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit

Improper use of extension cords for an electrical device started the blaze
The Columbia Fire Department are using this unfortunate incident to remind citizens the importance of electrical safety

Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing Electrical Fires
Keeping your family safe

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters
Using advanced technology to reduce electrical fires

Arc Faults and Electrical Safety
Protecting homes and families from electrical fires with advanced technology

The Importance of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Technology
White paper

Preventing Electrical Fires
Keeping your family safe