Safety is Important All the Time

It’s the time of year again when electrical safety is stressed. May is National Electrical Safety Month. Even though we all know and realize that safety is important all the time, it is proper to remind ourselves from time-to-time of not just electrical safety, but being safe in all that we do, at home, at work, or wherever we may be.

I could list many safety checks that could, and should, be done in the home and at work. Many checklists will be presented during this safety awareness month, so I will not try to duplicate the most obvious ones.

Analysis of Changes

We are in a period where a new electrical code is in the final stages of preparation. New requirements are forthcoming with the purpose of providing a safe electrical system for homes and businesses. IAEI is hard at work preparing the Analysis of Changes of the 2005 NEC. This book has been found to be a necessity for those that must keep up with the changes in each new edition of the Code. It is becoming essential that one keeps up with the changes that occur, technical, new methods, new products, etc. To not do so results in unsafe electrical installations.

Even though the noble goal of codes is safety, whether it be electrical, building, mechanical, or plumbing, there must be diligence by the participants in the code writing process to make sure that changes are done for safety. It is also important, maybe even more so, that those that have the authority to adopt standards and codes do so with the full knowledge of the process. They also have the responsibility to provide safe and secure environs for all. Sometimes our elected officials and even those appointed to decision-making positions need to be made aware again of the desirability, even the necessity, of providing strong codes and strong enforcement of the safety codes. A well-staffed inspections department with knowledgeable, well-trained, and certified enforcers is a necessary part of electrical safety.

Seven goals

IAEI has seven goals listed in the Articles of Incorporation. One of the first is “Participating in the formulation of standards for the safe installation and use of electrical materials, devices, and appliances.” IAEI does that by sponsoring members on NFPA code-making panels and the Canadian Electrical Code. IAEI also participates in the standard-making process with Underwriters Laboratories, Canadian Standards Association and International Electrotechnical Commission.

Another goal is: “Promoting uniform understanding and application of the National Electrical Code and other electrical codes.” The intent of the IAEI Education Department is to provide educational material, from the enforcers’ viewpoint, on many code issues. Once the material is written and published, seminars and training sessions are held to assure that there is consistent understanding and enforcement of the Code. The Education Department also has the task of certifying inspectors, training instructors, approving the issuance of continuing education units (CEUs), and providing guidance in applying Code rules. Again, a well-trained, knowledgeable, and certified inspector is a necessary part of electrical safety. This also applies to the installers, designers, and manufacturers—our associate members. People familiar with the requirements and why the requirements are present increase the likelihood of a safe electrical installation.

Speaking of seminars. IAEI has several ways that it assists local chapter and divisions in the education process. They are:

  • Standard International Office Seminars.The IO schedules a seminar in an area and provides all instructors, training materials, advertising, and arranges facilities. Chapter/division officers are asked for input on scheduling dates and places so as not to conflict with local programs or meetings.
  • Joint Sponsorship with Chapters/Divisions.IO provides instructor(s). The chapter or division is responsible for all expenses and arrangements. The profits are shared.
  • Cooperative Programs.IO provides instructor(s) for a set fee and expenses. The chapter or division is responsible for materials and sets up the seminar. The profits are retained by the chapter/division.

If your chapter or division is interested in providing training, we can help. Contact the Education Department.

Another method of providing training is the increasingly popular On-site Seminars. These are contracted seminars with various organizations for a set fee that covers the instructor(s) fee, expenses, and training materials. We are able to conduct on-site seminars on most any electrical subject. The seminars can be held at the IO facilities or at a location determined by the organization.

Membership Benefits

IAEI membership not only has many benefits for you as an individual; membership in the IAEI strengthens the ability of IAEI to promote electrical safety in home, workplace, and play place. Our members have the common desire to “protect and serve.” Won’t you help IAEI continue to provide electrical safety? Stay involved and renew your membership each year.

In this issue of IAEI News is a survey form that can be removed. Please help your association by taking the time right now, to complete the form completely and honestly and returning it to us. This is an important step in helping your board set the future course of IAEI. A special gift is available for those that return the completed survey by the date indicated on the form. Please help us to help you.

For our loyal members that have retained their membership for at least the last three years, be on the lookout for the notice about the reward for continuous membership.

Be sure to read all the articles in this issue of IAEI News and especially the ones on safety. Happy reading!

James W. Carpenter
Former IAEI CEO and Executive Director, and Editor-in-Chief for the IAEI News, James Carpenter was previously the chief electrical engineer, state electrical inspector for the Engineering Division of the Office of State Fire Marshal, North Carolina Department of Insurance. He had been with the department for twenty years, with twenty years electrical experience prior to coming to the state. He was a member of CMP-2 from 1987 to 2002 and was chairman for the last three cycles. He has been a member of IAEI since 1972. He was also a member of NFPA and is serving as the TCC chair and on the Standards Council. He was on the UL Electrical Council.