This piece was originally published in the November/December 2019 issue of electroindustry.
Unless a washing machine is zapped or an overhead light fizzles out, most people don’t notice the electrical infrastructure at home or work that powers and enables their modern lives. Like an audience for a Broadway production, we’re dazzled by the actors in front of us, paying little attention to the stage crew that keeps the show moving behind the scenes.
Like Broadway stagehands, most of the electrical infrastructure in a building is hidden from view and working hard to make modern life enjoyable and seamless. The safety of the hidden products is paramount as well. Any glitch can mean the show’s over. Not all electrocutions and fires can be prevented, but luckily, they are far rarer than even 10 years ago. The electroindustry works hard to keep those numbers going down.
The increased adoption of ground-fault circuit interrupters in homes has led to a significant decline in electrocutions. Wiring devices of many types have been standardized, making it much easier for companies to develop safer products. Improved building codes ensure the safe installation of electrical products in buildings and homes. NEMA does all this and more—writing Standards, developing and advocating for strong building codes, and promoting safe electrical products— through the work of the NEMA Building Infrastructure Division.
NEMA Standards and technical publications contain stipulations that help building infrastructure manufacturers construct world-class products. The Building Infrastructure Division has a large catalog of Standards and publications that define requirements for materials, construction, dimensions, and product recommendations. Using established Standards ensures that consumers and building developers can obtain quality products that perform as intended.
Modern life functions seamlessly because of NEMA Members’ products. They are used to run the data centers that provide connectivity. They protect people and sensitive electronics from being harmed. These technologies and products are in place to make people’s lives comfortable, efficient, and safe both at home and at work. Essential building infrastructure products allow that to happen. ei
Chair, NEMA Board of Governors