Damage and Degradation of NM Cables

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Influence of Damage and Degradation on Breakdown Voltage of NM Cables"
Author: Fan He, Paul Brazis J., UL
Date of issue: November 2012

Introduction

The National Electric Code (NEC) has provisions for protecting residential fixed building wiring by use of devices such as the overcurrent circuit breaker and the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Fire statistics in home structures show that approximately ten percent of all fires are caused by electrical sources, with more than one-third of these caused by the fixed household wiring. The objective of this project is to investigate the effects of degradation and physical damage (and combinations thereof) that lead to a propensity of arcing in NM cable. An understanding of these conditions will allow better focus in efforts to reduce electrical fires in household wiring. Such efforts may include improvements to cable design, changes in test standards, and changes in electrical codes.

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