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Ground Fault Personnel Protection

A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is designed to protect people from potentially hazardous ground faults arising from the use of defective appliances or portable tools. It works by comparing the amount of current going to and returning from equipment. A GFCI protects against current leakage anywhere in a branch circuit and thus protects against fires, overheating, and destruction of wire insulation. It can prevent electrocution. GFCIs are generally installed where electrical circuits may accidentally come into contact with water.

An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protects the branch circuit wiring from dangerous arcing faults. A dual function AFCI/GFCI breaker combines arc-fault and ground-fault protection into one solution for use on kitchen and laundry circuits. Related products include portable and cord-connected GFCIs.

Members develop and monitor GFCI Standards. They contribute to the National Electrical Code? (NEC), which requires that GFCIs be used in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and outdoors.


  • Provides code development and monitoring of local and national codes
  • Promotes harmonization wherever possible through CANENA (Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations in the Americas)
  • Coordinates efforts to address interoperability, unwanted tripping, and related issues
  • Publishes yearly electrocution data and outreach infographics that demonstrate how the increase in GFCIs leads to fewer electrocutions


  • Data centers
  • Electric vehicles
  • Healthcare
  • Homes
  • Industrial and manufacturing facilities
  • Mobile power generation
  • Rail, transit, ships, ports, and marinas
  • Renewable energy
  • Utility power generation


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