Life and Property at Risk in Clash over Code Adoption
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has learned that Ohio
Governor Ted Strickland will be presented with an Emergency Order to annul the
recent state adoption of the 2008 National Electrical Code by the Board of
Building Standards. ESFI encourages residents of Ohio to call the governor's office to let
him know they support the life-saving and fire-preventing measures included in
the new electrical code.
At issue are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI). AFCIs are advanced
electronic circuit breakers that detect dangerous conditions in a home's
wiring. When a problem is detected, these devices immediately cut the power to
the circuit before a fire can start. AFCI technology is endorsed by the United
States Fire Administration, the National Fire Protection Association, the
Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Association of State Fire
Marshals, as well as other safety and fire fighting organizations across the
"Use of AFCI technology will reduce the number of home fires by almost
30,000, saving hundreds of lives, preventing thousands of injuries, and
stopping nearly $750 million in property damage each year," notes Brett
Brenner, ESFI president. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's
Healthy Homes report lists the lack of AFCIs among the primary residential
hazards associated with burns and fire-related injuries.
In seeking the annulment, the Board of Building Standards stated the
increased cost of AFCIs over conventional circuit breakers will make new homes
unaffordable. In actuality, the additional cost is estimated to be $300-$400
for the average new home. The new 2008 National Electrical Code simply expands
the use of AFCIs from the bedrooms-only requirement, effective in 2002 version
of the Code, to most living areas of the home. ESFI encourages the adoption of
the 2008 National Electric Code by every state, so communities can take
advantage of AFCIs and the higher level of fire protection they offer.
For further information about AFCIs and other electrical safety products,
visit ESFI's web site: http://www.electrical-safety.org/.
02-16-2008 11:28 PM