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Byline: Jeff South
CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ An extra-sensitive circuit breaker, an inexpensive device required in homes but not concert venues, would have prevented the electrocution of a college student at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre this month, safety experts say.
Because of accidents such as the June 6 death of Ashley Faris, the devices, called ground fault circuit interrupters, probably will be required on wiring installed in commercial outdoor areas beginning in 2005.
GFCIs, which cost $15 to $60 per circuit, automatically cut the power if they sense an electrical short _ such as the one in the lighting system that killed Faris, 26, on a wet stairway at the concert.
If the amphitheater had had a GFCI, "that person would be alive today," said John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager for Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit organization that tests products and sets safety standards.
Clear Channel Entertainment, which owns the 12-year-old amphitheater in northeast Charlotte, has been installing GFCIs in its other concert venues, said Gerald Harvell, Mecklenburg, N.C.'s chief …