I purchased a dual GFCI/CAFCI circuit breaker to place on my circuit that contains only smoke, CO, and heat detectors inside my house. Is there anything wrong with this or can I install it to have both types of protection?

  • These are multiple-station alarms, correct, not a central station system? Feb 5 '17 at 15:46
  • These are regular hardwired/interconnected First Alert alarms that are all on their own circuit. They run from a sub panel to the basement and then to the first floor. Now I understand that they are required to be CAFCI but is there actually anything wrong with using a dual GFI/AFI breaker?
    – J. Andrews
    Feb 5 '17 at 17:32
  • There's no earthly reason to do that. That's like if you have a diesel powered fire pump. You don't want to arrive to find your factory building burnt to ash, but hey, the fire pump is saved because a low-water interlock shut it down and saved it. Same thing here. You don't want to sleep through a fire because the helpful ground fault detector saved you from a ground fault in the fire-alarm system. Feb 5 '17 at 22:34

A smoke alarm can be AFCI and or GFCI protected so the answer is yes. Code exempts fire alarm systems installed to code NEC 210.12.A.6. from AFIC requirements. My state also exempts Fire alarms from GFCI requirements. The risk to the system tripping out is greater than the chance of a fire or shock from the system. I totally agree with @Harpers comment.


I used a gfci/afci dual breaker, simply because I had a free one already. Code allows it (though I agree that it's better to not have it)

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