Electrician, Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Protecting Your Home With Circuit Interrupters – GFCI vs. AFCI – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, GFCIs and AFCIs are circuit interrupters that respectively provide protection against electrical shock and electrical fires. Part 2 will discuss GFCI Locations, AFCI Locations, and Regular Maintenance & Testing.

GFCI Locations

According to the NEC (National Electrical Code), there are about 50 places in a home where GFCI protection is required for receptacles. The most common locations are listed below.


  • Bathrooms
  • Crawl spaces
  • Garages
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry areas
  • Unfinished portions of basements not intended to be habitable

We recommend that homeowners refer to the NEC for the complete and most up-to-date list of locations requiring GFCI protection. Another requirement is that GFCI devices are installed in readily accessible locations, letting licensed electricians reach them quickly for operation, inspection, testing, and repair.

AFCI Locations

Just like GFCI devices, AFCI devices must also be installed in readily accessible locations inside the home. This allows licensed electricians to reach them quickly for operation, inspection, testing, and repair. AFCI protection is required in the locations listed below.

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Closets
  • Dens
  • Dining Rooms
  • Family Rooms
  • Garages
  • Hallways
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry Areas
  • Libraries
  • Living Rooms
  • Parlors
  • Recreation Rooms
  • Sunrooms

As recommended above, homeowners should always refer to the NEC for a complete and updated list of locations inside a home where AFCI protection is required.

Regular Maintenance & Testing

Both featuring a test switch, a GFCI and an AFCI should be tested every 30 days by homeowners.  ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International) provides step by step instructions for testing each switch. Clink on the two links below for more information.

GFCI Testing Procedure

 AFCI Testing Procedure

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:

  • Standby Generator Installation
  • Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
  • Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Structured Cabling
  • Circuit Breaker Replacement

Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.