Is Your Home Safe? Why Electrical Codes Matter

When you purchase a home, you expect a place to keep you warm and safe from the outdoor elements. What many people overlook are the potential hazards that lie inside the house. A building is constructed along specific guidelines that must be met, and then the building is checked at the end of construction to make sure nothing was missed. However, these guidelines change over time, so it is essential to understand the importance of your local code regulations.

What Is National Electrical Code?

The first step in keeping your home safe is knowing what code enforcers must follow. The National Electrical Code, or NEC for short, is the adopted set of rules followed in the United States. It covers both residential and commercial properties. The NEC was designed for use in the United States, but it has become the standard for the entire world.

The NEC is over 1000 pages long, so it has been broken it into chapters to make navigation easier. In addition, all revisions are in annexes. The chapters include:

  • Chapter 1 – General information, such as definitions and rules for installation
  • Chapter 2 – Rules on protecting wires and how they are to be laid
  • Chapter 3 – Regulations on approved wringing methods
  • Chapter 4 – General use equipment regulations, such as switches, cords, and heaters
  • Chapter 5 – Regulations for buildings with high risks, such as mobile homes
  • Chapter 6 – Regulations for electrical equipment
  • Chapter 7 – Regulations for alarms and security systems
  • Chapter 8 – Regulations for telephones, televisions, and radios

Technological Advances Change Things

Things have changed a lot since the advancement of technology. In 2020, the NEC covered several topics regarding safety around smart homes. However, in Oregon, Excel Electric also follows the energy efficiency guidelines. These codes are very specific and set by the Building Codes Division in the state. They cover the electrical equipment and lighting in your home, including windows and insulation. While most of the regulations set in the Oregon Energy Code are not about safety, they are created to reduce gas emissions and to save homeowners money.

Why NFPA 70 Matters

You may be thinking that your home seems safe enough, so why does code matter so much? You are not alone. The NEC rules and guidelines are created with the devotion to preventing injuries, death, and property loss from electrical disasters. The National Fire Protection Association wanted to hold someone accountable if risks could have been prevented. They want to protect residents and building owners by enforcing best practices during the construction process. Electricians will undergo years of practicing and learning the requirements set, and everyone will have the same set of rules to follow. It is common knowledge that electricity, while vital for our survival, is hazardous.

No one wants to lose heirlooms and possibly lives in a house fire. The NEC helps electricians and homeowners know what common problems to look for in older homes. They also make sure new homes start with safety in mind. Code enforcement is not done to make someone’s life more complicated but rather to keep everything and everyone safe inside all buildings. If you need help understanding the NEC rules in Eugene, OR, give Excel Electric a call.