University of Vermont

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     8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
     Closed on UVM administrative holidays
     (802) 656-3434
     (802) 656-1142
     UVM Department of Residential Life
     406 South Prospect St.
     Robinson Hall
     Burlington, Vermont, 05405-0364

Some residence halls use arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). Unlike circuit breakers found in many homes, AFCIs can be quite sensitive. Often during move-in weekend, we see quite a few tripped breakers, which results in your outlets losing power. 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 in the OFF position before plugging it into an electrical outlet.
  • Switch your device to OFF before unplugging it from the outlet.
  • Consider purchasing a power strip with a switch – correct use can help prevent arc-fault trips.

If you do lose power to your outlets:

Stop by your complex main desk right away, and we’ll ask our electricians to reset your breaker as soon as possible. It’s best not to send a Fix-it – they’re only meant for routine maintenance requests.

Why AFCI? 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.


Last updated June 16th, 2015