Why do the 1999, 2002, and 2005 versions of the NEC® require AFCI protection for only bedroom circuits?
NFPA fire statistics show that a high percentage of electrical fires occur in bedrooms. There are many appliance cords in bedrooms, for example, radios, clocks, blankets, air conditioners, heaters, TVs, vacuums, as well as, lamp cords. All of these cords can be trapped/abused leading to arcing faults. Further, there are long runs of installed wiring (M-B, “Romex”) between the loadcenter and the bedroom outlets. The wiring can be abused during installation (e.g. stapling) and after installation (driving nails into the wall etc.) Therefore, the most logical room to start with would be the bedroom.