Updates to NEC In Discussion at City Council Meeting

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Changes to Casper's electrical code to meet new national standards code will be in discussion at tonight's council meeting.

The electrical code is revised every three years in order to meet improved safety measures in new construction---both residential and commercial.

Bob Hopkins, Council Board Member says, "it's pretty much one of the standards across the country that essentially every city uses, all agencies use, to build equipment and build facilities."

Although the new code is hundreds of pages long, there are a few key changes with the update.

"So the newest changes are regarding ground fault interrupter circuits and there's some other changes in circuit breakers."

And it seems like most contractors are already aware of the new code.

"All of the contractors have actually been notified already and they're easily aware of it because they know what they have to do."

Fire officials say it's better to be proactive about the electrical code updates before a fatal accident happens.

Justin Smith of Casper Fire Dept. says, "you know typically we talk about the catastrophic theory of reform when we talk about codes changing or evolving and basically what that means is we have a large loss of life or a catastrophe that contribute to the need to change the codes to create better safety."

And with over 1100 reported fire fatalities across the country so far this year, Wyoming is the only state that doesn't have a single one.

Smith continues, "we are lucky that in wyoming, we have not had any fire fatalities so far this year."

Hopkins says, "I think the national electrical code is one of the key safety measures in building. Whether it's a home or whether it's building a commercial building or an industrial building. It's one of the key things that has to be done to keep it safe."

Fire officials say their efforts are always geared towards preventing fire fatalities, and the electrical engineering standards that come through the codes play a key role in saving lives.

Councilman Bob Hopkins says the udpated code could be approved within the month and after the new codes are adopted, it will apply to all buildings requiring a permit to build or remodel.
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