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Electrical Connection

Electrical Connection Launches Campaign to Reduce Home Electrical Fires

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

Electrical-Related Fires Increase in Winter Months; More Than 45,000 Home Electrical Fires Reported Annually According to 2017 Report

As the winter months approach, the Electrical Connection is raising awareness to reduce hazards of home electrical fires typically associated with colder weather.  Improper use of space heaters, extension cords, holiday lighting combine with overtaxed circuits to enhance the risk of electrical fire hazards over the winter months.  The Electrical Connection is providing safety tips to reduce those hazards in response to a national report earlier this year on electrical fires by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) (see http://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fire-statistics/Fire-causes/Electrical-and-consumer-electronics/Electrical).  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA).

The NFPA report issued in March 2017 details an annual average of 45,210 U.S. home structure fires reported in the U.S. involving electrical failure or malfunction from 2010 to 2014. The fires resulted in 420 civilian deaths, 1,370 civilian injuries and $1.4 billion in direct property damage each year, according to the report.

“People tend to stay indoors more in the winter months and sometimes misuse electrical devices, such as space heaters, extension cords and holiday lights, creating a potential fire hazard in their homes,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  “We want to get ahead that by launching a public safety campaign.”

NFPA found that electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 57 percent of the home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction. Fires involving heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment accounted for 19% of fires, nine percent involved kitchen and cooking equipment, and seven percent involved personal and household equipment.

“Our NECA contractors are frequently called to make electrical repairs to faulty installations that were perform by someone who didn’t have the skills to do the work,” noted Doug Martin, CEO, St. Louis Chapter NECA.  “We emphasize building to National Electrical Code standards to avoid wiring hazards hidden behind walls of homes and businesses.”

NFPA reported that non-home fires resulted in 20 civilian deaths, 190 civilian injuries, and $659 million in direct property damage each year from 2010-2014.

Electrical Connection members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.

Electrical Connection Safety Tips

Always make sure installations in your home or business conform to the standards of the National Electrical Code (NEC).  This requires a fully licensed electrical contractor.  The Electrical Connection has the largest data base of licensed electrical contractors in St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. It can be accessed by visiting www.electricalconnection.org.  Other safety tips to be aware of:

WARNING: While homeowners can visually inspect electrical systems, we do not recommend they attempt to fix or tinker with them in any way.  Leave that to a licensed professional.

  • Space Heaters/Electric Blankets — Never use an extension cord for an electrical heating appliance, such as a space heater or an electric blanket. The cord provided with the heating device is properly rated and should be connected directly to the electrical outlet. Inspect your space heater and discard it if it shows deterioration, particularly around the plug-in cord, or it lacks a functioning automatic shut off if tipped over.  Watch where you place the space heaters to keep it away from combustible materials.  Keep children away from space heaters.  Closely inspect electric blankets and heating pads and discard them if you note any potential fire hazard, such as discoloration due to overheating or exposed wiring.
  • Extension Cords — Never use an extension cord for an extended time as a permanent or temporary wiring solution. Extension cords aren’t made to be used for long periods of time and can result in electrical fires. When you are using an extension cord, always ensure that the plug has all three prongs. This ensures that your cord will stay properly grounded, which could prevent the cord from overloading. Any extension cords without the third prong should be discarded immediately.
  • Holiday Lights – Examine and discard lights with frayed wires. They are not only a fire hazard, but a shock hazard and are especially dangerous if they come in contact with a metal gutter and ladder while being installed outside. Use lights that are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) tested for safety and don’t exceed the strands of lights that can be connected as detailed on the product.  Pay attention to whether the lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use.  Consider using LED lights which last 20 times longer and don’t burn hot like traditional incandescent lights. Child-proof all holiday decorations. Lights can be fascinating to young children and if they get too curious can expose them to a live circuit.
  • Outlets — Don’t overload sockets with plugs that could start a fire. Any electrical outlets in your home that are near a water source—sinks, bathtubs, washing machines—require a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) according to the National Electrical Code. A GFCI is a fast-acting circuit breaker that shuts down your electricity as quickly as 1/40 of second after a fault occurs. If you’re missing a GFCI an electrical professional can easily install one for you.
  • Wiring — Visually inspect your home’s service panel and note any potential concerns. Contact a licensed professional if the panel is not firmly attached to the wall or wires are not neatly enclosed within their protective box or if deterioration is noted.  Also contact a licensed professional if you note wiring connection points are not capped with a wire connector and enclosed within an appropriate UL approved junction box.

Electrical Connection & Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis Celebrate 10-Year Homebuilding Partnership

in Associations/Companies/News

Hundreds of St. Louis families are living the dream of homeownership thanks to an enduring partnership between the Electrical Connection and Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis.  For 10 consecutive years, the Electrical Connection has ensured that more than 180 Habitat homes have been wired safely by donating electrical services and materials for code-compliant installations.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.

“We are grateful to have had the support of the Electrical Connection for 10 consecutive years.  The Electrical Connection not only generously donates materials and services to safely wire Habitat for Humanity Homes, but it ensures the installations meet code requirements,” said Kimberly McKinney CEO, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis.  “With the Electrical Connection’s assistance, we can continue the important work of providing affordable housing for hardworking low income families who deserve a safe and decent place to live.”

Over the past 10 years, the Electrical Connection donation has covered every aspect of electrical infrastructure and fixtures in Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis homes.  In total, it amounts to:

  • More than 360,000 feet of Romex wiring
  • More than 2,160 fixtures
  • More than 3,240 light switches
  • More than 7,200 receptacles

“Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity is just one way we are committed to strengthening our home town,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  “Our electricians and communication technicians understand that the vitality of our neighborhoods is energized by broadening opportunities for home ownership.”

St. Louis NECA Chapter CEO Doug Martin echoed those sentiments.  “NECA partners with the IBEW through the Electrical Connection to leverage our technical proficiencies where it can best help build stronger communities.”

Electrical Connection members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.

Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis

Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) is a not-for-profit, ecumenical housing ministry working in partnership with individuals and communities of all faiths to improve housing conditions and provide safe, decent and affordable housing in St. Louis City and County. With nearly 400 homes already built or rehabbed, HFHSL is one of the leading housing developers in St. Louis. HFHSL donors, volunteers, and partner families work side-by-side to build or rehab homes ensuring that every deserving family in St. Louis has a decent place to live.

In addition to a down payment and a 30-year affordable mortgage, each HFHSL homebuyer invests 350 sweat-equity volunteer hours into building or rehabbing a home and attending life skills classes. Homeowners are teachers, healthcare providers and returning college students determined to achieve homeownership and create a legacy for their families.

Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis:  Building Homes, Building Hope, Building St. Louis. For more information, visit: www.habitatstl.org.

Photo Above: The Electrical Connection is celebrating 10 consecutive years of service wiring Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis homes.  Left to right are Habitat for Humanity Project Manager Kevin Rapp and Dave Roth and Ryan Dougherty, both with the Electrical Connection.

Electrical Connection Commits $500,000 To Saint Louis Science Center STEM Education Programs

in Homepage Primary

The Electrical Connection is strengthening its six-year-long partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center by increasing its financial commitment to $500,000 over the next five years.  The funding will be used to support the Science Center’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“As the leading organization in the electrical and communication industry, the Electrical Connection has been a great partner,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Science Center. “We are grateful for continued support of our STEM education programs that advance our mission to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning.”

In 2013, the Electrical Connection sponsored new state-of-the art lighting for the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and provided relevant industry expertise on the applications of STEM subjects, including robotics, building automation and renewable energy.

“The Science Center’s mission aligns well with our efforts to train the next generation electrical and communications workforce,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1.  “With our NECA partners, we invest $3 million annually in training the workforce that installs and maintains the technology for automation, the digital age, connectivity, renewable and traditional forms of energy.”  Jacobs serves on the Science Center’s board of trustees.

The Electrical Connection partnership operates the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. Founded in 1941, it is the nation’s first registered electrical training program. Since then, it has trained more electricians and communication technicians than any education program in Missouri.  The five-year, 10,000-hour training program is funded by IBEW/NECA at no taxpayer expense.

“Our workforce development spans more than 70 years and is committed to keeping pace with new technologies defining our future,” said Doug Martin, CEO, St. Louis Chapter NECA.  “The Science Center has been a great partner in helping educate the public on the ever more complex electrical and communications infrastructure that our contractors engineer, install and maintain.”

Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection noted that the partnership has been particularly effective in the area of renewable energy.  “Our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) pairs well with the Science Center’s electric and autonomous vehicle education initiatives,” said Curran.  “For the electric and autonomous vehicle market to thrive there must absolute confidence that quality, licensed contractors and electricians are installing the infrastructure for fixed charging stations supporting the vehicles”

The mission of the Saint Louis Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning. Named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate in 2016, the Saint Louis Science Center features more than 700 interactive exhibits, as well as a five-story OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Hall and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center, please visit slsc.org.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit www.electricalconnection.org.

Photo Above: The Electrical Connection presents a check to the Saint Louis Science Center to support STEM programs.  Left to right are Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center; Doug Martin, CEO, St. Louis Chapter National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA); Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection; Frank Jacobs, business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local

Electrical Connection Sponsors St. Louis Blues 51st Season & Celebrates Improvements to Scottrade Center

in Associations/News

As the St. Louis Blues skate into its second half century, the Electrical Connection is again a prominent sponsor and is helping improve the hockey game experience at Scottrade Center.  The 51st Blues season features a new high-tech 40-by-40-foot video cube scoreboard above the rink installed by members of the Electrical Connection.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The Electrical Connection’s sponsorship of the Blues 2017-2018 season consists of advertising, including its logo prominently displayed on the new video scoreboard and the ribbon boards surrounding the arena.  It is also supporting the team with radio advertising.

Sachs Electric Co., a member of the Electrical Connection, utilized IBEW to perform electrical improvements to the 23-year-old Scottrade Center, including the installation of the new video scoreboard.  Other improvements include new wheelchair lifts, a curtain system to partition the arena for smaller events, a new sound system and restroom renovations throughout the building.

Electrical Connection members have proudly served every major professional and amateur sports franchise in the St. Louis area.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit www.electricalconnection.org.

Electrical Connection Donates Services to Rebuild Electrical Systems in Home for Disabled Mother

in Associations/News

Debbie Augustine thought she was on the threshold of stabilizing her life after recovering from a coma and a serious illness.  The 47-year-old mother bought a home next door to her parents’ house on Mitchell Avenue in St. Louis only to find it had serious electrical issues that would cost $4,800 to repair.

“My daughter and I had been through so much and it finally looked like we going to have a home of our own,” said Augustine.  “But the electrical issues were overwhelming, creating unsafe living conditions.  I had limited resources to buy the home and nothing left for the needed repairs.”

After buying the home in the 6900 block of Mitchell and learning of its electrical issues, Augustine met Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  Curran detailed Augustine’s plight to the Electrical Connection board and within days the IBEW/NECA partnership agreed to pay for the electrical repairs.

“The Electrical Connection is such a blessing in my life,” said Augustine.  “IBEW/NECA rebuilt my electrical systems ensuring my daughter and I can live safely in our new home.”

Augustine’s medical issues began two years ago when she suffered a cardiopulmonary illness that put her in a coma for seven days.  Forced onto disability, Augustine and her daughter, Dakota, moved in with her parents who lived on Mitchell Ave. in St. Louis.  “I was grateful, but for my parents, myself and my daughter it was cramped quarters,” said Augustine.

Augustine said she thought her prayers were answered when the home next door went up for sale.  But after purchasing it, she learned it had significant issues with the electrical service into to the home, including improper wiring, a rusted out circuit panel, overloaded circuits, lighting and junction boxes in need of repair.

“I thought it was a dream come true, but it took the Electrical Connection to make that happen,” said Augustine.  NECA contractor Northwest Electric Co., Inc. teamed with IBEW to make the repairs on August 4, 2017.

This is not the first time the Electrical Connection has responded to a community need. For 14 years, the IBEW/NECA partnership has supported Rebuilding Together St. Louis.   Since 2003, the partnership has donated labor and more than $825,000 in materials to improve more than 485 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.  It also supports Habitat for Humanity St. Louis in building new homes.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

Photos Above: 

Stecher-Brautigam Working – Left to right, IBEW Local 1 journey workers Kevin Stecher and Kevin Brautigam work to install a safer electrical service entrance in Debbie Augustine’s home. 

Augustine-Curran Pointing – Left to right, Debbie Augustine looks on as Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection, points to one of the many electrical hazards in need of repair at her home.

Kevin Stecher Mast Prep – IBEW Local 1’s Kevin Stecher works on installing a new masthead for safe electrical service to Debbie Augustine’s home.

Electrical Connection Partners with Saint Louis FC To Support “Shop with a Cop” on July 22, 2017

in Associations/News

“Christmas in July” Game Raises Money to Support St. Francois County and Ferguson, Mo. “Shop with a Cop” 

For the second year in a row, one of the most successful law enforcement community trust-building programs is receiving a big boost from a partnership between the Electrical Connection and Saint Louis FC.   The Electrical Connection is sponsoring Saint Louis FC’s “Christmas in July” fundraiser at its July 22, 2017 soccer game to raise money for the Saint Francois County and Ferguson “Shop with a Cop” programs.

“We’re hoping to build on the momentum of last year’s fundraiser to encourage more people, businesses and civic organizations to support this great law enforcement trust building program,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.  The Electrical Connection is a labor-management partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Shop with a Cop raises money so law enforcement can take disadvantaged children December holiday shopping for gifts they would not otherwise receive.  The “Christmas in July” fundraiser will celebrate both programs at the Saint Louis FC soccer game against the Louisville City FC at Toyota Stadium in Fenton, Mo.  Pre-game ceremonies will spotlight the history of “Shop with a Cop,” which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in St. Francois County this year.  Fans will receive a limited edition 2017 holiday ornament commemorating the event for a donation.

“Our partnership with the Electrical Connection has allowed Saint Louis FC to expand its outreach through programs like ‘Shop with a Cop’ that bind a community,” said Patrick Barry, president, Saint Louis FC.  “Last December, we attended both ‘Shop with a Cop’ events in St. Francois County and Ferguson and saw law enforcement connect with disadvantage children in extraordinary ways to brighten the holidays.”

The Electrical Connection has supported the St. Francois County program since 1993 donating a total of more than $59,000.  It expanded its “Shop with a Cop” support last year to reenergize the program in Ferguson, Mo., donating $5,000.

            “We greatly appreciate how the Electrical Connection and Saint Louis FC are leveraging their partnership again to support our program,” said Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss.  “It was incredible to see the look on the children’s faces as we presented them with gifts for the holidays last year.”

The newly energized Ferguson “Shop with a Cop” program served more than 60 children last year.   Over the past 25 years, the St. Francois County “Shop with a Cop” program has gradually become one of the largest in the nation, serving more than 500 children last year.

“We are grateful that the Electrical Connection through its partnership with Saint Louis FC is going to ensure the success of our 25th year of serving children through ‘Shop with a Cop,’” said St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.

Electrical Connection Volunteers Making 35 St. Louis Low Income Homes Safer

in Associations/News

More than 150 IBEW Local 1 Electricians Teaming with 28 NECA Contractors to Help Rebuilding Together St. Louis 

The Electrical Connection will wrap up work in the coming weeks on 35 low income homes to make them more electrically safe.   Electrical Connection volunteers are making the improvements for Rebuilding Together St. Louis.  The effort includes than 150 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1 electricians and 28 electrical contractor members of the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  It is the 14th consecutive year that the IBEW/NECA partnership has supported Rebuilding Together.  Since 2003, the partnership has donated more than $825,000 in labor and materials to improve more than 485 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.

Before the volunteers headed out to begin the home repair initiative on April 29, 2017, Rebuilding Together presented the Electrical Connection with an award for its enduring commitment to the community improvement program.  “Quite often electrical issues are the most serious hazard facing the families we serve,” said Dave Ervin, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis.  “The Electrical Connection’s ability to identify and correct wiring issues and other hazards is extremely important to make these homes safe.”

Among the many electrical hazards being repaired are ungrounded outlets, extension cords used for permanent wiring, a lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) switches and outlets, overloaded panel boxes, open splices, fixtures with charred or burned wires and more.  In addition, the volunteers are safely installing needed fixtures including lights and ceiling fans.

The Electrical Connection offers the largest number of licensed commercial and residential electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the region with a searchable data base at www.electricalconnection.org.

Participating electrical contractors, who are donating service trucks and tools, include:

  • Bell Electric
  • Branson Electric
  • BRK Electrical Contractors, LLC
  • Concept Electrical Services
  • Fusion Electrical Systems, LLC
  • Grasser Electric
  • Guarantee Electrical Construction Company
  • J Bathe Electric
  • Kaiser Electric, Inc.
  • Kay Bee Electric
  • Liberty Electric, Inc.
  • Lynn’s Electric, LLC
  • M R Bathe Electric
  • Northwest Electric
  • PayneCrest Electric
  • Pearl Street Electric, LLC
  • Pioneer Electric, LLC
  • Precision Electrical Automation Services
  • Resource Electric, Inc.
  • Sachs Electric Company
  • Schaeffer Electric
  • Summit Electric
  • TD-4, LLC
  • TJV Electric, LLC
  • TSI Group, LLC
  • Ultra Electric, Inc.
  • Unified 1 Data Systems, LLC
  • Vision Electric

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

 

 

Electrical Connection Saves the Season

in Associations/News

Services Donated to Repair Lighting for Little League in Festus, Mo.

For a time, it appeared that the joys of summer with the crack of the bat and kids playing baseball might be silenced at the Twin City Little League in Festus, Mo.  That’s because the lighting for the field was in bad need of repair and would not pass inspection for the 2017 season.  But the Electrical Connection stepped to the plate and saved the season!

Matt Copland & Chris Bank

The IBEW/NECA partnership agreed to donate services to repair the lighting.  NECA contractor Schaeffer Electric Company, Inc. teamed with IBEW Local 1 electricians Matt Copland and Chris Bank to repair field lights and bring them up to code.  A full slate of baseball games for the summer is now underway.

“The Electrical Connection really came through in our time of need,” said Scott White, Twin cities director of fields.  “Schaeffer Electric and IBEW made sufficient improvements to the field lighting so we could kick off a busy 2017 schedule of games.”

Since 1939, Twin City Little League has been an anchor of the Festus and Crystal City communities.  The non-profit Little League sanctioned program serves more than 400 boys and girls, ages three to 16 years old, in 12 different divisions of baseball and softball programs.

The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  Members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

Electrical Connection Urges Caution in Flood Areas Impacting Electrical Systems

in Associations/News

The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership reminds residents in flooded areas to be wary of shock hazards around their home and carefully check credentials of any company offering repairs.  IBEW/NECA electrical contractors will again work with government officials, residents and businesses to ensure electrical systems damaged by the recent flooding are made safe.  Residents and business owners need to be aware some electrical systems compromised by the flood may have to be inspected and repaired.  Residents and business owners should always use licensed electrical contractors for new electrical installations and electrical repairs.  IBEW/NECA contractors are dedicated to strict adherence to the National Electrical Code to ensure safe electrical systems. The Electrical Connection offers the largest data base of licensed electrical contractors at its web site (www.electricalconnection.org):

The Electrical Connection offers the following tips to homeowners and businesses:

  • Always ask for credentials to ensure the repair service is fully licensed.
  • Call your insurance company first to find out what your insurance will cover and identify their procedures for how it will be covered
  • Never enter a basement with standing water that is in contact with electrical systems.
  • With the immense volume of rain, water has been able enter homes from faulty rooftop flashing to basements and in many cases the water trickles down electrical cables into fixtures.  These fixtures, while they may look dry, should be inspected.
  • The nonmetallic-sheathed cable (Romex) wiring used in most all dwellings has a paper-type material on the inside that will absorb water. Even though the appliance or outlet may look dry, the wiring may be completely wet.
  • Any flickering lights may be a sign of hidden water damage and not be used until inspected and repair.
  • Flooded sockets will have to be replaced as the waters could corrode the device and insulation.
  • All dishwashers, laundry machines must be on ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) circuits.

Electrical Connection Launches Boat Dock Safety Campaign

in Associations/News

In advance of the summer boating season, the Electrical Connection is offering tips to boat dock owners to ensure their docks are electrically safe.    Recently, the mother of two children electrocuted while swimming around a boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks said more needs to be done to avoid fatal electrical shock from unsafe boat docks.   The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“Missouri lawmakers are currently considering boat dock safety legislation in SB 297 introduced by State Senator Jake Hummel,” said Tim Green, director of governmental affairs for IBEW/NECA.  “Members of the state assembly are rightly concerned about recent tragedies on Missouri lakes where people, including children, were electrocuted swimming near docks with electrical hazards.”

“We fully support Senator Hummel’s bill,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection.  “But now is the time that boat dock owners need to make sure their docks – and neighboring docks – don’t have electrical issues that would endanger anyone on the dock or swimming around the dock.”

The Electrical Connection, which is the single largest source of licensed electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the State of Missouri, recommends boat dock owners consider the following:

  • A Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should be on all dock receptacles.  A GFCI measures the current in a circuit. An imbalance of that current, such as a discharge into the water, will trip the GFCI cutting off power.
  • The GFCI should be tested at least once a month or per the manufacturer’s specifications.  The GFCI should be located somewhere along the ramp to the dock so it can be easily found and tested by local fire departments as needed.
  • The metal frame of docks should have “bonding jumpers” on them to connect all metal parts to a ground rod on the shore.  That will ensure any part of the metal dock that becomes energized because of electrical malfunction will trip the GFCI or the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure the switch to disconnect power is at the dock entrance and easily found for first responders.  You don’t want to attempt any kind of rescue from a charged dock.
  • Never use an extension cord on a dock.
  • Neighboring docks can also present a shock hazard.  Ensure your neighbor’s dockside electrical system complies with the National Electrical Code and has been inspected.
  • All electrical installations should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Because docks are exposed to the elements, their electrical systems should be inspected at least once a year.

More boat dock safety tips can be found at www.electricalconnection.org.

 

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