Building code requires dual voltage, interconnected smoke alarms in each sleeping room in 1 & 2 family dwellings. It is my understanding that, according to the 2002 NEC Art. 210.12(B), the smoke detector in the bedroom must be supplied by an AFCI protected circuit. Comments anyone?
I will be starting the rough-in on a 2500 sqft. custom home early next month. It's a doctor and his wife with no children still living at home. It will have a master bedroom suite and 2 guest bedrooms. I am planning on using 4 AFCI breakers. 2 for master suite recepts.and lights, 2 for the 2 guest room recepts. and lights. I'm thinking of powering the smoke detectors off of one of the master suite AFCI circuits just so it would be obvious if the smoke detector circuit was off. I know there are valid arguments opposing smokies on a bedroom circuit but there are just as many valid arguments for not having smokies on a dedicated circuit. Anyone want to share an opinion?
Electric blanket gets bunched up at the foot of a child's bed, hot spot occurs, causes insulation failure and resulting arc. AFCI trips to prevent more arcing, but shuts down the Smoke Detectors as well and with the unmaintained batteries, the smoldering blanket from the first arc is now set to go undetected...
I realize the impossible task to prepare for every scenario, but this one doesn't seem overboard to me...
[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 10-06-2001).]
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
Virgil, That's exactly the situation I was thinking about. I investigated a fire about 4 years ago that started with an arcing fault in a bedroom receptacle where an electric blanket was plugged in under the bed right in the center below the headboard of the bed. Teenage girl awoke to her arm being burned by the headboard(wood)and the wall was on fire. Maybe I'll keep the bedroom lighting on an AFCI circuit by itself and tag the smokes off of it. Keep the receptacle circuits on their own AFCI circuit. Or run a 5th AFCI circuit and put the smokes and the livingroom recepts. on it. What do you think?
Is battery backup required on the smokies near you? I think that they make a chirping noise when the batteries are worn out or not in place, don't they? In that case they'd be more likely to replace the batteries. Your questions are good ones and I'm not sure what I think is best, but I would not recommend a dedicated circuit, that much I will say.