Topic: Electrical

NFPA Electrical Section Honors Members at Conference & Expo Reception

Against the backdrop of a late spring evening, the Electrical Section gathered for a reception at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston on Tuesday to recognize its members, and their dedication and shared commitment to the creation of standards that help guide and protect our workforce and the people who depend on them for their safety. One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Richard G. Biermann Award to Michael J. Johnston, Executive Director of Codes, Standards, and Safety at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Mike Johnston (center) with John Kovacik (left) and Mark Earley (right).  The highly regarded award, created in honor of Richard G. Biermann former chair of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) Correlating Committee, recognizes an outstanding volunteer who has demonstrated a commitment to actively contributing to the advancement of the NEC by furthering its development and/or promoting its implementation. Johnston is responsible for managing the codes, standards, and safety functions for NECA and is secretary of the NECA Codes and Standards Committee. He is immediate past chair and currently principal member of the NEC Correlating Committee while continuing to serve as an active member of the NFPA Standards Council. He is also a member of and immediate past chair of the NFPA Electrical Section. Johnson received recognition for his work at the NFPA “Stars at Night” Awards Gala on Sunday, which celebrated the brightest starts in fire and life safety.  “Mike has shown incredible dedication and leadership around the NEC project for many years and is a valuable member of the NEC Correlating Committee and NFPA Standards Council in addition to being a former Code-Making Panel member and chair,” said Jeff Sargent, Principal Specialist and Executive Secretary for the NFPA Electrical Section. It is an honor for the NFPA Electrical Section to present him with this esteemed award in support of his continued work to advance safety.” Another highlight of the evening was the recognition of 17 members of the NEC Quarter Century Club. Each was honored for their 25 years of service on an NEC Code-Making Panel (CMP). The awardees are: Steve Campolo, CMP 2 Donald R. Cook, CMP 17 Paul Dobrowsky, CMP 5 Gerald Lee Dorna, CMP 16 Mark Goodman, CMP 14 Mitch Hefter, CMP 15 David H. Kendall, CMP 8 Gerald W. Kent, CMP 6 Edwin S. Kramer, CMP 15 William G. Lawrence, Jr., CMP 14 David A. Pace, CMP 3 William J. McCoy, CMP 16 James J. Rogers, CMP 4 Gregory J. Steinman, CMP 5 Robert C. Turner, CMP 12 Walter N. Vernon, IV, CMP 15 David B. Wechsler, CMP 14 Robert H. Wills, CMP 4 Standards Council Committee Service Awardees, also in attendance, were acknowledged for their hard work, passion, and dedication to activities related to the standards development process. These awards were handed out at the Technical Meeting earlier this morning. They are: Donald W. Ankele – CMP 14 Ernest J. Gallo – CMP 16 Palmer L. Hickman – CMP 1 David L. Hittinger – CMP 1 Richard A. Holub – CMP 14 Randall J. Ivans – CMP 16 David H. Kendall – CMP 8 Robert D. Osborne – CMP 9 Nathan Philips – CMP 5 The Electrical Section also made note of the contributions and commitment of three outgoing CMP chairs. They are: Kenneth Boyce – CMP 1 Keith Lofland – CMP 7 Linda Little – CMP 13 “After the last two years of not being able to see each other in person, we’re extremely pleased that this year members of the Electrical Section could come together to celebrate and recognize our achievements, including completing the First and Second Draft phases of the revisions process using virtual meeting technology,” said Sargent. “We know there is still more to do because the electrical industry is constantly changing, but it’s the collaboration and our shared commitment to safety that makes us feel proud of all that we can accomplish together, and we look forward to meeting future challenges with the energy and passion that our volunteer committee members have always brought to this process.” For more information about the NEC and committee membership, visit the NEC webpage on our site. Top photo: The new members of the NEC Quarter Century Club. From left to right – Steve Campolo, Donald Cook, Paul Dobrowsky, Gerald Kent, Edwin Kramer, James Rogers, and Gregory Steinman.

Electric vehicle safety training at NFPA C&E helps firefighters safely mitigate EV incidents

While electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in popularity on our roadways, with dozens of new models coming out each year, many fire departments remain untrained in knowing how to safely and effectively handle EV incidents. To help first responders better understand the risks associated with EV incidents and how to safely handle them, an Electric Vehicles Safety Training was hosted today by Jason Emory with the Waterbury, CT Fire Department at the NFPA Conference & Expo® in Boston. Firefighters received essential training and learned tactical considerations needed to safely respond to these types of incidents. Topics covered during the two-hour session included an introduction to electric EVs, scene size-up and management, vehicle identification, immobilization, high voltage system shutdown methods, occupant rescue, and post-incident recovery and disposal considerations. If you weren’t able to attend today’s EV training, don’t despair! The NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety training program is available online. In addition, NFPA recently received a grant from General Motors so that volunteer and under-served fire departments can access the online training for free for one year, as volunteer and underserved departments often don’t have the resources to receive the needed training. About two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. fire departments are served by part-time or volunteer firefighters, according to NFPA data. NFPA offers a wealth of resources on electric vehicle safety and training. For more information, visit https://www.nfpa.org/EV.
A stormy sky over a city

During Hurricane Season, NFPA Natural Disaster Electrical Equipment Checklist Helps Electricians Assess Whether to Repair or Replace Electrical Systems Damaged in a Storm

June marks the start of hurricane season bringing with it strong and damaging storms that will impact many parts of the U.S. As such, building owners and managers of industrial and commercial facilities in these areas could find themselves working through the daunting process of disaster recovery once the initial danger has passed. When electrical systems are damaged in a natural or man-made disaster, electricians need to make a critical decision about whether the electrical equipment that was damaged can be salvaged or not. NFPA has created a checklist for electricians to help highlight and simplify key aspects of this decision-making process. The checklist builds off of recommendations in Chapter 32 of NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance (2019 edition), and includes: A list of disaster scenarios, which can inflict damage of varying degrees to facilities Steps for assessing equipment A priority assessment table Steps to help identify factors for replacement or repair The choice between repair and replace will not always be easy but following these simple suggestions can help make the difference between an impossible task and an informed decision. Download the free “Natural Disaster Electrical Equipment Checklist” and review the information. Having this information at your fingertips will be extremely valuable should your community call on you for your electrical experience and assistance in the aftermath of a storm or other weather-related event.   Need additional information? NFPA 70B is now available in NFPA LiNK™, the association’s information delivery platform with NFPA codes and standards, supplementary content, and visual aids for building, electrical, and life safety professionals and practitioners. Learn more at nfpa.org/LiNK.
Structural reinforcing steel that serves as the pool shell bonding

Code Compliant Electrical Installation the Key to Swimmer Safety and a Secure Electrical System in Pools

Now that summer has arrived, many of us will be taking advantage of the nice weather to jump into swimming pools to cool off. But what many people don’t realize, is there’s a lot to keeping us safe from electrical hazards in these wet environments. Much of this depends on the initial electrical installation. Something that is often overlooked after the pool has been installed and inspected, is maintenance of the pool and associated pool equipment. As we all know, Father Time is not always kind to electrical installations, which may require re-inspections for safety. Based on changes to the 2020 National Electrical Code® (NEC®) the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is permitted to periodically inspect and test pools. If they so choose, municipalities can now implement a process to periodically inspect and test pools, associated pool equipment, and the equipotential bonding after the initial installation inspection to help ensure reliability and continued safety. A code compliant electrical installation for a pool, completed by a licensed qualified electrician, is vital to the overall performance of the electrical system and the swimmer’s ability to cool off safely. The conductive pool shell, perimeter surfaces, metal forming shell for underwater luminaires, ladder cups, diving board bracket, the water, and other metal surfaces are where the equipotential bonding system is found. This equipotential bonding system surrounds the pool with connections to a #8 AWG solid copper conductor. This solid copper conductor is terminated to all the above points then routed underground or within the concrete, back to the pool pump motor and terminated on the grounding lug located on pump motor. The NEC in Section 680.26(B)(6) requires sufficient length in the equipotential bonding conductor for future pump replacement. Best practice would be to provide enough additional conductor to terminate it anywhere on the motor in the event the lug is not in the same location. These connections are crucial to equalizing the electrical potential of all conductive surfaces, ladders, diving boards, underwater luminaries, and water that are all found with pools. Because pools are subject to corrosion and use corrosive chemicals, terminations, many of which are underground or within concrete, must be listed and labeled for the environment they are being installed in. People often think that once a pool is installed, all they need to do is add chemicals to the water and clean the pool. This myth is where problems arise as maintenance and periodic inspection and testing of the pool equipment is a very important part of the overall electrical safety of the pool. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) need to be tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions, which is typically monthly. Also, as a part of the maintenance, grounding connections should be checked for corrosion, loose connections, or rust; all of these can inhibit the functioning of the equipotential bond, which could result in an electrical shock or an electric shock drowning (ESD). If corrosion is seen on any terminations, those points should be cleaned and or replaced by a qualified person as these connections are crucial to the safety of the people who use the pool. Pool pump motors do not last forever and therefore must be replaced, which requires the disconnection and reconnection of the equipotential bonding conductor from the motor. As previously mentioned, additional slack in the solid copper conductor is required at the motor location for motor replacement because consideration was taken for bonding lug location. When a state chooses to legislatively adopt the 2020 NEC, which makes it enforceable by an AHJ, Section 680.4 permits the periodic inspection and testing by the AHJ of the pool system. This may help encourage the maintenance and repair of the pool system and equipotential bond.   Maintenance on pools, associated pool equipment, and the equipotential bonding system is no different than maintaining a car by getting the oil changed. It is not difficult to do; the 2020 NEC provides this direction and is instrumental in helping to prevent a fun day at the pool from turning into a tragedy. Find additional information and resources for electrical inspection professionals at nfpa.org/electricalinspection. NFPA 70 the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) is now available in NFPA LiNK™, the association’s information delivery platform with NFPA codes and standards, supplementary content, and visual aids for building, electrical, and life safety professionals and practitioners. Learn more at nfpa.org/LiNK.   
Changes to the NEC book

NFPA and Mike Holt Enterprises Collaborate to Publish 2023 NEC Changes Book Due Out This Fall

It probably comes as no surprise when we hear people say our world has become increasingly complex with regard to all things electrical. Today, NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code (NEC®) remains the most widely used code in the U.S. and is applied extensively across the globe to safeguard people and property from electrical hazards. It is why the NEC remains the essential resource to ensure all those who work in this field have the latest safety information to address existing and emerging issues. To this end, this year marks the first time that NFPA and Mike Holt Enterprises are partnering together to publish a book explaining the key updates to the next edition of the NEC. The book, Mike Holt’s Illustrated Guide to Changes to the National Electrical Code, 2023 edition, provides colorful graphic depictions of revisions to the NEC to clarify how to apply requirements accurately and explanatory language of how the changes impact electrical industry professionals on the job. It also offers reference information to help provide a deeper understanding of changes and the rationale behind them. NFPA and Mike Holt Enterprises are excited to be working together to advance safety and bring to life this information for those who rely on the NEC to do their jobs. It offers a great opportunity to unite NFPA, the source of the code, and Mike Holt, who is highly recognized for his expertise on the NEC, having devoted his career to understanding the code and sharing his knowledge with others. If you’re a professional electrician, electrical contractor, engineer, or inspector, this book is a valuable resource for understanding the NEC. The book will be available this fall through both Mike Holt Enterprises and NFPA. To pre-order the 2023 NEC, visit the NFPA catalog page.  Stay tuned for more information and visit our electrical solutions page for updates on the book and product offerings. For additional information, read the full news release.
Electrical worker outside

New NFPA research reports Shine a Spotlight on Fatal and Non-Fatal Electrical Injuries at work

Each May, NFPA actively supports National Electrical Safety Month, a campaign sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), which raises awareness of potential home electrical hazards, the importance of electrical fire safety, and the safety of all electrical and non-electrical workers. As a step towards this end, NFPA recently published two reports using data from the Bureau using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatal Work Injuries Caused by Exposure to Electricity in 2020 and Nonfatal Work Injuries Caused by Exposure to Electricity in 2020,separately examine fatal and non-fatal electrical injuries at work. The reports find that many electrical injury victims are not “electrical workers” and are unlikely to have received training in recognizing and working safely around electrical hazards. Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show that 126 workers in the U.S were fatally injured in 2020 because of exposure to electricity. Hispanic workers accounted for two in five (40 percent) of the victims. It’s also worth noting that the vast majority (99 percent) of worker who were fatally injured through exposure to electricity were male.  Workers who were 25 to 34 years of age accounted for one-third (33 percent) of the fatal injuries.  Almost three in five injuries (56 percent) were caused by direct exposure to electricity, while two in five fatal injuries resulted from indirect exposure to electricity. The report also found that private residences were the leading location of fatal electrical injuries, followed by industrial premises and streets or highways ranking third. Data from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses indicate that workers in private industry and public administration experienced 2,380 nonfatal electrical injuries in 2020, an average of 46 injuries every week. The report finds that seven in 10 of the nonfatal injury victims were male (72 percent) and 27 percent were female.  Three-quarters of the victims were 44 years of age or younger. The vast majority (85 percent) of victims were injured through direct exposure to electricity at work while eight percent of victims were injured through indirect exposure to electricity. Take time during Electrical Safety Month to learn more about electrical hazards in the workplace and help us to share crucial information about ways we can reduce the risk of electrical injuries and create a safer world for everyone. 
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