Summer is nearly over and the children are back in school. For most of us vacation times are now fond memories. It is back to work until the next opportunity for a relaxation period. Speaking of opportunity, IAEI has joined with Underwriters Laboratories to offer a way for our members to participate in a program that will teach our school children electrical safety. This opportunity gives you a way to give back to your community.
As inspectors, we already are charged with assuring our homes, offices, factories, stores, and persons are safe from hazards arising from the use of electricity. Installers, suppliers, manufacturers, and engineers are also part of this mission. Now we can join together and teach our children about being safe, not just electrically safe, but safe in any circumstances.
The I am Safety Smart! program is designed to give children the skills to develop life safety skills. The program has two modules: Ages 5 through 8 (kindergarten – 3rd grade) and ages 10 through 14 (grades 4 – 8). To be an I am Safety Smart! ambassador, one who actually goes into the classroom to teach the children, you must be trained. UL has agreed to train an initial group of people who will serve as coordinators, and train others in the local chapters and divisions. You should have received information about this program by the time you receive this issue of the IAEI News. That information gave specifics about the program. If you want additional information or have questions on how to participate, you may contact one of the officers of your chapter or division. Or you may contact Kathryn Ingley at the International Office firstname.lastname@example.org. Printed material has been developed, sample letters to your jurisdiction and school officials, and kits for use in the classroom are ready for chapters or divisions to use in promoting this very exciting program.
This chance for our IAEI inspector and associate members to do what the firemen and policemen have been doing for years in the schools is an excellent way that we can not only teach electrical safety but also show the community the importance of the role of the electrical inspector and installer. Maybe the child will want to grow up to be an inspector and join the IAEI.
Membership in IAEI affords many possibilities to further one’s knowledge, skills, and friendships. The I am Safety Smart! program is just one of the new ways that IAEI members can share their knowledge, skills, and friendship with others and at the same time increase their own knowledge, skills, and friendships.
IAEI is going through a period where membership, as well as participation in any group or association, seems to be not as important as it once was. The many volunteers that provide leadership and guidance for IAEI are wondering and looking for where this leadership and guidance will come from in the coming years. The I am Safety Smart! program will possibly encourage the children of today to be like that electrical person who came to his classroom to teach electrical safety.
Another example of things that your IAEI is doing is the directCONNECT feature on iaei.org. Your guide to electrical regularity has been established on the website to provide information on Code adoption, electrical contractor licensing, journeyman licensing, and inspector certification requirements. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has furnished us their list of licensing agencies and IAEI has updated it and added additional information. For this guide to electrical regularity to be beneficial, it will need to constantly reviewed, updated, and added too. You can help in this process by providing information, updates and corrections to:directCONNECT@iaei.org.
Another feature on IAEI’s website is the opportunity to put your name on a volunteer list, so that for the next Katrina there will be people that can go and help the local inspection department recover much sooner. That feature has already been used by a jurisdiction in the northeast when the recent floods overtaxed a city’s inspection department. Volunteers were there as soon as help was requested. Thanks to the IAEI disaster volunteers.
As 2006 draws to a close we can reflect on what has transpired over the year. Of the many partnerships and co-sponsored events IAEI has participated in, one event stands out. NFPA hosted a Forum for electrical inspectors from across the U. S. to come together and discuss, not code issues but, common procedures and problems.
For two days, the participants had a chance to network with each other on such topics as: The Status of Electrical Inspection Departments, Approving Electrical Equipment, Disaster Recovery, and the Status of IAEI in the Local Area. Look for more information on that Forum and future forums.
I hope you have made plans to attend a Section meeting near you. It is not too late to join your fellow members to network and learn more about your very important profession. Code discussion is always a hot topic at section meetings and this year is no exception. We are in the midst of the code making cycle. Preparation of comments on the work the NEC Code-Making Panels did at the proposal stage will be on the agendas. Come to the annual section meetings and let your voice be heard. See you there!