EConnection
Volume 9, Issue Number 2 April 1, 2004

NECA tells ICC: Discontinue Electrical Code

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has submitted two public comments supporting discontinuance of the ICC Electrical Code.  The comments were sent to the International Code Council and will be voted upon at upcoming code-change hearings in Kansas City, this May.

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NECA Stands Up for AFCIs

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has submitted comments to legislative committees in Michigan and South Carolina, urging them to retain requirements for AFCI protection of bedroom receptacles in their state electrical codes.

Cost-cutting pressure from homebuilders’ associations in both states led to proposals to delete the AFCI protection required by the National Electrical Code, when constructing new homes. Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) protect against a type of electrical fault that circuit breakers and fuses don’t guard against very well. One example would be a frayed lamp cord that exposes some of the copper wire inside, which then creates a low-energy electrical arc with a nearby piece of grounded metal. Another would be a dangerously loose electrical connection. Both situations can result in ‘arcing faults’ (electricity jumping through the air) that may not create overloads of sufficient magnitude to trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse. However, even low-energy arcs have the ability to ignite flammable materials such as paper or curtains.

The National Electrical Code requires that AFCIs be used to protect circuits in residential bedrooms, because fires kill sleeping people more often than those who are awake and alert. The 2002 National Electrical Code requires that circuits serving bedrooms of newly-constructed houses, condominiums, and apartments be protected by AFCIs. There is no rule requiring that existing residences be retrofitted with the devices.

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OSHA Official Addresses NECA on Benefits of Alliances and Partnerships

Paula O. White, Director of Cooperative and State Programs at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), addressed the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (NECA) spring chapter managers meeting on the benefits of OSHA alliances and partnerships. NECA and OSHA signed a national alliance agreement in August 2003.

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Residential Generator Standard is Latest from NECA

NECA has just published NECA 406-2003, Standard for Installing Residential Generator Sets (ANSI).  It covers generators permanently installed at one-family dwellings to provide backup power, and fueled by gasoline, natural gas, or LP gas.

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Improvements to NECA Safety Site

NECA has redesigned the Safety pages of its website to provide more information and make them more user-friendly.  The revisions provide more comprehensive information about OSHA regulations and safety practices in the electrical construction industry, and make it easier for visitors to find the information they’re looking for. Specific improvements to www.necanet.org/safety include:

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Don’t Use IRC, NECA Advises NY State

NECA has submitted three code-change proposals to the New York Division of Code Enforcement and Administration, which is reviewing the state’s building codes.  The related proposals update regulatory references to the National Electrical Code, and delete all mentions of the International Residential Code (IRC).  The IRC has serious defects, NECA told the New York State codes division:

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CPSC Electrical Product Recalls

The following electrical construction products have been recalled in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

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Is NFPA 5000 in California to Stay?

In July 2003, the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), by an 8-to-2 vote, adopted NFPA 5000 Building Construction Code and NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code. The Commission’s decision made it mandatory for California jurisdictions to bring their local regulations in line with NFPA’s new building code.

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Electrical Contracting Foundation to Research Grounding Safety Practices

The Electrical Contracting Found-ation (EFC) has begun a research project to identify the safest and most effective means of grounding mobile construction equipment used in construction and maintenance of high-voltage utility power lines and facilities (often called “line construction”).  The research will be conducted by the University of Kansas.

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Code Calendar

 

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InBrief

Schneider North America Names New CEO

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