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August 24, 2017 Previous day Next day

hurricanes, floods, electrical safety, hurricane harvey


Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coastline last Friday evening bringing with it winds of about 130 mph, torrential rains and significant flooding. Parts of Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley are also expecting heavy rains due to the hurricane this week.


As Harvey bears down on the coast, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is alerting contractors in the area of their “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment” document aimed specifically at contractors who will be called in to help with the damage assessment once the waters have receded. The guide is free and available for download on NEMA's website.


The document provides guidelines on how to handle electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. It's designed for suppliers, installers, inspectors and users of electrical products, and outlines items that require complete replacement or those that can be reconditioned by a trained professional. Such equipment includes:

* Electrical distribution equipment

* Motor circuits

* Power equipment

* Transformers

* Wire, cable and flexible cords

* Wiring devices

* GFCIs and surge protectors

* Lighting fixtures and ballasts,

* Motors and electronic products


According to NEMA, field representatives have reached out Texas officials, local contractors and building officials to offer this guidance during the clean-up to help ensure that electrical safety remains a top priority during the initial assessment and cleanup of flooded communities. NEMA also recommends that inspectors, suppliers and others contact the original manufacturer of the equipment if there are questions and/or a need for specific recommendations. 


Industry professionals looking for electrical information related to NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code) can find it on NFPA's  NEC webpage. Additional information on electrical worker safety (NFPA 70E) is also available.  




When: Thursday, September 7, 12:30-2:00 pm ET 
  • Keith E. Pardoe, Pardoe Consulting LLC
  • Drew Martin, Arup
Swinging fire doors are critical components of maintaining building compartmentation. The ability for swinging fire doors to resist the passage of fire and smoke and to comply with the applicable standards are affected by the gap sizes around a fire door (i.e. between the frame and the hinge side(s) of the door, between the latch side(s) of the door, between the frame and the top of the door, and between the bottom of the door and floor). Hence these gap sizes are regulated. NFPA 80 currently allows a maximum bottom gap of 3/4” and a maximum of 1/8” for the perimeter of the swinging fire doors. The clearance under swinging fire doors is frequently found to be greater than the maximum allowable gap size currently allowed by NFPA 80.   The upcoming webinar, "Influence of Gap Size around Swinging Doors on Fire and Smoke Development," will address the performance of the clearance dimension around single- and double-egress swinging fire-rated wood and steel doors on fire development and smoke movement in an NFPA 252, Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies, furnace environment. You can read more about a related Fire Protection Research Foundation project here.     
About the speakers:
Keith E. Pardoe is the president of Pardoe Consulting, LLC. Keith began his career in the architectural/commercial door and hardware industry in the mid-1980s working for door and hardware distributors and earned his Architectural Hardware Consultant (AHC) and Certified Door Consultant (CDC) certification from the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI). He also earned Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) credential from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). He was also responsible for overseeing the development and administration of many DHI certification and education programs. He has received the Distinguished Honors (DAHC) award in recognition of the technical expertise. Over the years Keith has participated in the development of the codes and standards that affect swinging fire and egress door assemblies. Most notably, NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 105, Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies and Other Opening Protectives—publications of the National Fire Protection Association. His contributions to these publications included many proposals for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire and egress door assemblies. 
Drew Martin is a Fire Consultant in Arup’s San Francisco office. He works with the fire group on code analysis, fire modeling for smoke control applications, human behavior and egress analysis. Drew brings a variety of new and advanced tools related to modeling and risk assessment for commercial and residential buildings as well as fire related research. Prior to joining Arup, Drew worked for AKF Group, National Park Service, and as a researcher for Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Drew’s worked as a code consultant for AKF Group developing an expertise in the Building code (IBC) and the Massachusetts suite of codes. The national Park Service allowed for performance based work on historical buildings within strict budgetary constraints.  

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