Is seasonal lighting restricted to only 30 days out of a calendar year or 30 days per holiday season?
which code or standard are you under?? and year?
International Fire Code 2018 604.9
Allows 90 days, and does not say once a year, or if you unplug them for one day, the 90 day clock starts again.
Sorry cannot copy and paste the section::
OHHH I am not an engineer, so you can discount my reply if you want, and I cannot do math.
Sorry about that. I meant to say 90 days. It’s the 2015 Edition of NFPA 1- 220.127.116.11.2.
Jefferson Parish EBC Fire Department
834 South Clearview Parkway
Jefferson, LA 70123
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Office (504) 736-6200
By your title it is your call!!!
Ok will have to read NFPA,
The section I gave you talks about temporary wiring and not seasonal lights.
I was going to say, does NFPA define seasonal???
As in does it mean Christmas lights??? Or some of the patio lights that appear to be, what I would not say are seasonal or temporary
Ok in looking at NFPA it says """ holiday decorative lighting and similar purposes""""
The calendars I see have multiple holidays in every month, so seems like back to the 90 day clock, and at what point does it start over, or how much time is required in between.
Plus what are seasonal lights?? as compared to say patio lights, that might be made better.
I did not read it, but looks good and may give you some guidance::
I think the most important code to enforce Section 18.104.22.168.2 of NFPA 1 is Section 22.214.171.124.4. Otherwise, the wiring will remain installed during the year waiting for next yearly celebration.
Excerpt from 2018 NFPA 1, Fire Code
The reason for the code section is to minimize the use of extension cords in place of proper outlets. We constantly cite this in apartments where there are too few outlets for today's modern family. In cases where we see actual holiday lights or similar, and it's being done safely, no issue. But cords running permanent type devices (TV's, A/C units, lamps, heaters, etc) no dice. The common person doesn't understand enough about proper electrical safety to safely use extension cords. Too often cords are undersized, over loaded or compromised by carpeting, furniture, doors, etc.
Great comment and fair enough.
Knowledge and awareness are the keys to preventing fires and personal safety.
Did you leave any literature with the residents after the inspection?
This wasn’t for a residence. It was for a business. Yes, they have been informed.
In our case with apartment inspections, 90% of the time there is someone present from the unit, so we explain the the hazard and if egregious, we ask them to correct it in our presence. If they are not present we ask the owners representative to have it corrected within a short time window (Code Officer does this as the "city electrical inspector"). Leaving some sort of information is a great idea that has alluded us, until now...
This is one of those cases where being a fire inspector that has relevant fire experience seems to help, as it's great to be able to directly relate the "why" to the requirement. Very often we see this is not the case in Life Safety Code enforcement from general code officers. That said, there are a million other details we don't know about, so for us the combination of Code Officer and Fire Inspector working as a team pays off, though redundancy and scheduling can be problematic at times.
This is more of a problem in our commercial businesses than with apartment buildings.
I would say the answer is the same. If the extension cord is powering routinely used devices or appliances they should be removed and proper electrical outlets provided if the device/appliance is requisite to the job. Most "listed" devices are only tested plugged directly into a proper outlet, thus utilizing an extension cord could be a violation of the listed use. If the issue is truly using "seasonal lights" most of the year I'd say the issue is more likely a management problem. Sure it's a code violation, but at some point property owners, managers, business operators must ensure their spaces compliant. We get far too many calls for business managers or owners asking us to come tell their employees why they must do this or that, instead of just being the boss themselves. Of course one could look at the individual issue and determine its overall impact and determine how to go from there. Maybe only allowing LED type lighting be used, as the draw is far less and the bulbs don't get hot? No less a problem if the cord or lights are improperly used or damaged.
Your comment has addressed a common uncertainty among the property owners, managers, and business operators to ensure their spaces are compliant with the local regulations. They are uncertain of codes that are not in their mind "final" because their local interpretations during the inspections and continue with the mentality of the inspector telling them how to comply with the regulations during the inspection.
Local business licensing at the local level should address the responsibilities of the property owners, managers, and business operators for the compliance with building safety regulations. As healthcare licensing in my state spell out the building safety responsibilities.
The building safety regulations were not developed with the point of view of the average citizen, property owners, managers, and business operators. They are developed by AHJ by adopting codes in the point of view of safety product manufacturers, regulators, inspectors, plan reviewers, architects, and engineers.
When I worked for DoD doing fire inspections I found alot of extension cord use to replace the permemit wiring of the biibuild. I would use NFPA 1 chapter 11 section 11.5 sub 11.5.6 which stated that extension cords could not be used in place of the permemit wiring of the building. This section seemed more applicable to the violation. Just my opinion. Hope this is helpful.
NEC Article 590.3(B) 90 Days. Temporary electric power and lighting installations shall be permitted for a period not to exceed 90 days for holiday decorative lighting and similar purposes.
One of the biggest code violations is the use of holiday lighting (Christmas tree light strings) as a substitute for permanently installed luminaires.
NEC Article 110.3(B) can also be applied as the UL 588 listing will be voided if the lighting is used for more than 90 days.
From the Scope of UL 588,Standard for Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products.
1 Scope1.1 These requirements cover temporary-use, seasonal decorative-lighting products and accessories with a maximum input voltage rating of 120 V to be used in accordance with the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70. Temporary-use is considered to be a period of installation and use not exceeding 90 days.
1.2 These requirements cover factory-assembled seasonal lighting strings with push-in, midget-screw, or miniature-screw lampholders or non-replaceable lamps connected in series for across-the-line use or with candelabra- or intermediate-screw lampholders connected in parallel for direct-connection use. These requirements also cover factory-assembled seasonal decorative outfits such as wreaths, stars, light sculptures, crosses, candles or candle sets without lamp shades, products in the shape of, or in resemblance to, Christmas trees with simulated branches and needles, products in the shape of, or in resemblance to, wreaths provided with simulated branches and needles, blow-molded figures or objects, animated figures, tree tops, controllers, tree stands, electric tree poles, and motorized decorative displays. These requirements cover products which are portable and not permanently connected to a power source.
1.3 These requirements additionally cover ornaments which are provided with an adapter for connection to a push-in lampholder and are intended to replace a push-in lamp in a series-connected decorative-lighting string or decorative outfit.
1.4 These requirements do not cover strings employing lampholders larger than intermediate-screw, non-seasonal lighting, non-seasonal products, permanently connected products, non-decorative lighting intended for illumination only, cord sets, or temporary power taps. These requirements also do not cover nightlights which are covered under the Standard for Direct Plug-In Nightlights, UL 1786, or flexible lighting products that are not part of a decorative outfit which are covered under the Standard for Flexible Lighting Products, UL 2388.
1.5 These requirements do not cover portable electric lamps intended for general illumination with a seasonal decoration and a typical lamp shade construction open at the top and bottom, which are covered under the Standard for Portable Electric Luminaires, UL 153.
1.6 Christmas trees exceeding 30 in (762 mm) in height but not exceeding 12 ft (3.7 m) in height, as measured from the top of the tree to the bottom of the base of the tree and provided with simulated branches and needles, products in the shape of, or in resemblance to, a wreath exceeding 48 in (1219 mm) in outer diameter and provided with simulated branches and needles, or other similar seasonal-use decorative outfits shall additionally be investigated to the Outline of Investigation for Fire Tests of Pre-Lit Artificial Seasonal Use Trees and Other Seasonal Decorative Items, UL 2358.
NFPA 1 2018 ED. Chapter 11 Section 126.96.36.199.2 states temporary holiday lighting can be up for 90 Days. Please see Section 188.8.131.52.2 for greator details. ) Does not address if decorations have to be removed for holidays that fall within the same 90 period. As to the 30 day period this may be a requirement of the LJHA. I suggest that you pose your question to them and follow their directions. Please keep in mind the LJHA has authority of final approval authority.
As to the IFC my best guess is that in this case it will state the same requirement. Just my opinion. Hope this is helpful.
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