Building codes in general and electrical codes, in particular, are an incredibly vital part of any construction project. But why exactly are electrical codes so important, and how can you remain in compliance? Let’s take a deeper look.
The Importance of Complying with Electrical Codes
Each jurisdiction sets its own electrical codes, so you must check with local officials about your wiring plan. But local codes are generally based on the National Electrical Code or NEC. This massive document is a must-have for any general contractor or electrician, as it goes into extreme detail about everything involving residential or commercial electrical projects.
If you don’t comply with both the national and local electrical codes, you’ll be putting your company at risk. These codes are designed to reduce the risks of electrical hazards and fires. Wiring that is not up to code and later causes a fire, or other emergency could lead to significant legal liability.
In addition, each project must undergo two separate code inspections by a licensed inspector from the local building code office. The first, known as a rough-in inspection, occurs when all the boxes and wiring are in place, but the walls are still open. The second is a final inspection, which occurs just before the project is considered complete. If any part of the electrical work fails either inspection, you must redo it at your own expense.
How to Remain in Compliance
The best way to remain in compliance with electrical codes is to hire licensed, skilled, and experienced electricians for all of the electrical work on your construction projects. While it can be tempting to cut corners, it simply is not worth the risk. Get a copy of the latest NEC codebook as well as the local codebook for your area, and familiarize yourself with the basics. You don’t need to become an expert, but a basic understanding of what to look for can help you keep an eye on any new electricians you bring on board.
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