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IAEI Magazine | Author: David Dini
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David Dini

David Dini is a senior research engineer at Underwriters Laboratories Inc.'s (UL) Northbrook, Ill., office. As an electrical engineer with more than 25 years of experience in product safety testing, Dini is extensively involved in new technology research. Dini is a registered professional engineer (PE) in the state of Illinois; a member of the National Electrical Code (NEC) making panels 1 and 5; a senior member of IEEE; and an International Association of Electrical Inspectors' associate member.


Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters

It is not often that a new safety device is introduced to protect individuals from the dangers that may be present in residential occupancies. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and ground-fault circuit interrupters are recognized as essential life saving devices. In 2002, the National Electrical Code (NEC) will require a new electrical safety device, the arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), for added protection in certain dwelling unit branch circuits.

Lab Data

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), residential electrical equipment is involved in approximately 150,000 fires each year in the United States, which result in 850 deaths, 6,000 injuries, and more than $1.5 billion in property losses. A new technology called "arc-fault detection” has been developed to reduce this problem. Research conducted by UL has shown "arc-fault detection” to be a promising technology for further reducing the risk of fire beyond the scope of conventional fuses and circuit breakers that protect branch circuits. Using this new technology may save many lives and dramatically reduce the property damage and injuries caused each year by electrical fires.