Smoke Alarm & Bedroom AFCI Requirement


Old 10-23-07, 09:52 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 175
Smoke Alarm & Bedroom AFCI Requirement

For wired-in smoke alarms with the extra red wire so that they all alarm when one senses smoke, it appears to the most expedient way to wire these would be to use 14-3 wire and keep them on one circuit.

If I decide to remodel the bedroom, I assume that would trigger the requirement to provide AFCI protection. Does that mean the smoke alarm circuit needs to be AFCI protected? To me it seems nonsensical to have all of the smoke alarms on an AFCI breaker and therefore lose the smoke alarms in the whole house if a breaker trips due to arcing. On the other hand, it doesn't make sense to put the bedroom smoke alarms on a different circuit than the ones covering the rest of the house, especially if you want the bedroom ones to alarm when there's a fire elsewhere in the house.

Generally speaking, would an inspector be agreeable to AFCI protection in the bedroom, with the exception of the smoke alarms, leaving them on a non-AFCI protected circuit?
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Old 10-23-07, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
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they are battery backed up AND

all the little green lights turn off, thereby giving the user positive indication of power loss.
Old 10-23-07, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 175
Oh yeah, forgot about the battery backup.
Old 10-23-07, 10:50 AM
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Check with your local building department. Each have different viewpoints/rules on the AFCI requirement and how it relates to smoke detectors.

A general rule of thumb is to include on the smoke detector circuit a commonly used light, such as the hallway. This way it will be quickly obvious if the breaker trips for any reason.
Old 10-23-07, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The smoke detectors on AFCI circuit is often debated. Some locales exempt smoke detectors from the requirements, others do not. Call the inspector and ask.

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