Tripping a circuit breaker makes your outlets lose power.

Some residence halls use arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). Unlike circuit breakers found in many homes, AFCIs can be quite sensitive. The biggest cause of tripped AFCI breakers? Plugging in an appliance that is turned on.

To avoid tripping a circuit breaker:

  • Be sure the power switch for your device (such as a refrigerator, hair dryer, iron, etc.) is OFF before you plug it in.
  • Switch your device OFF before you unplug it from the outlet.
  • Consider buying a power strip with a switch – correct use can help prevent arc-fault trips.

If you do lose power to your outlets:

Do not send a Fix-it. Contact your main desk or UVM Police 802.656.3473 so you don't have to wait. We will ask our electricians to reset your breaker as soon as possible.

The City of Burlington and the National Electrical Code require the use of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) instead of conventional circuit breakers in certain residential settings. Conventional breakers only respond to overloads and short circuits but do not protect against arcing conditions. AFCI circuit breakers serve a dual purpose – not only will they shut off electricity in the event of an “arcing fault,” but will also trip when a short circuit or an overload occurs.