Recognizing National Electrical Safety Month This May
Did you know that May is Electrical Safety Month? Although electrical safety is important all times of the year, during May electricians have extra opportunities to raise awareness about how to keep your home and family safe.
What is National Electrical Safety Month?
National Electrical Safety Month was created by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). This non-profit organization is designed to promote electrical safety practices in homes, schools, and workplaces all over the country. Each year during May, the ESFI focuses on one key aspect of electrical safety to highlight. This year’s theme is “Understanding the Code That Keeps Us Safe.” The ESFI will be raising awareness about the significance of the National Electrical Code in preventing electrical hazards.
At 24/7 Electric, we consider customer safety to be a top priority. Recently we put together this list of the most common electrical danger signs that can mean there are bigger issues with your electrical system happening below the surface. Today, we will take a closer look at some of the most common electrical code upgrades needed in residential electrical systems.
National Electrical Code Background
Since the National Electrical Code was established in 1897, it is safe to say that frequent updating has been necessary throughout the last 100+ years. Consider even the leap between homes built at the turn of the 20th century and homes built in the 1950s. It is obvious that as technology continues to advance, our electrical codes must in turn rise up to meet those changes in order to continue keeping people safe. For this reason, the NEC is revised every three years. The most recent edition of the electrical code was published in 2017.
Electrical Safety Upgrades
The full 2017 NEC is available online for electricians and contractors. Based on the 2017 NEC, here are the four most notable changes in electrical safety consumers should remember:
- GFCI Outlet Placement
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets have been required near water sources indoors and outdoors prior to this edition of the NEC. Now, the manual specifies exactly how to measure their placement. If you are living in an older home with outdated outlets, retrofitting your home with GFCI outlets in kitchen and bathrooms is a must.
- AMPs Needed for Garages
From now on, all garages must have at least one 20-amp circuit. With garage doors, lights, charging ports for yard equipment, and high-tech power tools, all drawing from the same source of power, this requirement makes sense.
- Fuel Storage
Fuel tanks must now be separated from property lines, public routes, and buildings on the property. Multiples tanks must also be separated from each other.
- Solar Power Regulations
Since solar technology is complex and fairly new, it receives some of the most drastic changes with each new copy of the NEC. Even though solar panels draw energy from the sun, installing and and maintaining them correctly with the rest of your electrical system is still important for overall electrical safety.
As April showers are giving way to May flowers, we are pausing to remember the importance of electrical safety. We hope this introduction to the NEC helps customers and their families better understand the necessity for electrical codes this National Electrical Safety Month.