AFCI Protection is now required for more types of living spaces


AFCI Protection: Arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection. Devices that shut off a circuit when an arcing fault occurs. These devices have a maximum rating of 20 amp. and are intended for use in 120 V ac, 60 Hz circuits.

Dormitory Unit: A building or a space in a building in which group sleeping accommodations are provided for more than 16 persons who are not members of the same family in one room, or a series of closely associated rooms, under joint occupancy and single management, with or without meals, but without individual cooking facilities.

The Code: Section 210.12 (C) and (D)

(C) Guest Rooms, Guest Suites, and Patient Sleeping Rooms in Nursing Homes and Limited-Care Facilities. All 120 -volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets and devices installed in guest rooms and guest suites of hotels and motels and patient sleeping rooms in nursing homes and limited-care facilities shall be protected by any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (6)

(D) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications – Dwelling Units, Dormitory Units, and Guest Rooms and Guest Suites. Where branch circuit wiring for any of the areas specified in 210.12(A), (B), or (C) is modified, replaced, or extended, the branch circuit shall be protected by one of the following:

(1) By any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (A)(6)

(2) A listed outlet branch-circuit-type AFCI located at the first receptacle outlet of the existing branch circuit

Additional Notes

  • Guest rooms and guest suites were added to the 2017 NEC AFCI requirements due to their similarity to Dwelling Units. Patients sleeping rooms are also similar to Dwelling Units and therefore have been added to the AFCI requirement list.
    • In the same vein, Dormitory Units, Guest Rooms and Guest Suites were added to to 210.12 (D) because of the similarity to Dwelling Units.
  • An exception to (D); AFCI protection is not required for extensions of branch circuit conductors are not more than 1.8 m (6 ft) and does not include any additional outlets or devices.