I'd liked to get some insights into how others interpret the code regarding AFCI and the NEC 2015 code.

Here's a hypothetical:

Arc fault protection is omitted for outlets outdoors, garages and crawl spaces. Granted these have to be GFCI protected.

Now say I add some outlets outdoors and I have a switch in the master bedroom to control the outlets. Even though all the outlets but one are outdoors because the switch is technically an outlet, this would require arc fault protection in addition to GFCI protection.

Code complaint?

  • The purpose of the arc fault requirement is to prevent fires while you are sleeping, so if there is a circuit running into your bedroom, I would think it needs to be arc fault, and then just use a GFCI outlet.
    – Steven
    Jun 12, 2015 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


The switch location is not an outlet according to NEC, unless you're installing a switch/ receptacle combo device.

Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.

I doubt an inspector would require the circuit to be AFCI protected, but ultimately that's who'll make the final decision. To be sure, contact your local electrical inspector.

That being said... AFCI protection is designed to help protect you and your home, so it's not a bad idea to protect the circuit even if it's not required.

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