Alabama Board Weighs Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Measure

Indiana is the only other state that has amended AFCIs out of its building code, but a similar measure is currently pending in North Carolina, Jeffrey Sargent reported in the November/December NFPA Journal.

A measure pending before the Alabama Energy and Residential Code Board would remove the requirement in the state's Residential Building Code for arc fault circuit interrupters to be installed in new one- and two-family homes, according to an article in the November/December issue of the NFPA Journal. Its author, Jeffrey Sargent, reports that the measure is supported by a homebuilder group that argues AFCIs are too expensive, costing about $300 in a typical home.

He wrote that fire safety leaders, including the state's fire marshal, Edward Paulk, testified before the board that Alabama's fire deaths rate ranks third in the nation, "behind only Mississippi and Washington D.C."

Indiana is the only other state that has amended AFCIs out of its building code, but a similar measure is currently pending in North Carolina, where the Building Code Council is considering a proposal to prevent the adoption of the 2014 edition of the National Electrical Code®, which expands AFCI use into kitchens and laundry areas in new construction, he reported, adding that the council is expected to vote on it in December.

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