Television viewers in Louisville overwhelmingly believe new homes built in Kentucky should require electrical safety features that help prevent fires and protect children from severe shock and burns, according to an online poll by Louisville television station WHAS-11.The poll was conducted after the Home Builders Association of Kentucky (HBAK) managed to persuade the Kentucky Board of Housing, Buildings and Construction to reverse its earlier unanimous decision to adopt the 2008 National Electric Code. HKAK objected to the requirements in the 2008 NEC, which expands the use of arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), an electronic form of circuit breaker designed to detect and prevent home electrical fires, and requires the installation of tamper proof receptacles that prevent children from sticking items into the slots of electrical outlets. Ninety percent of respondents responded "yes" to the question, "Do you think electrical safety features should be required for new homes?" Some of the comments left by respondents include:
"I feel that the department of building and housing is taking a MAJOR step backwards in fire safety and shock safety…saving a few dollars does not account for someone losing their life."
"Some people, regardless of facts and statistics, continue to close their eyes and minds to these important fire and life safety features."
"If it just saves one life, it's worth it…It seems like everything is coming down to money, not safety."
"It is amazing to what extent the Home Builders Association will go to fight Safety."
Kentucky fire chiefs, safety experts and the public all agree that the 2008 NEC would be a big step forward in electrical safety. How could the Kentucky Board of Housing, Buildings and Construction ignore them? Is saving a few dollars worth the inevitable loss of life?