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Wildfires Rage Across California

In what is being described as the "October Fire Siege," more than 250 wildfires have raged across California in a little over a week.


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Credit Edwin J. Torres Mayoral Photography Office
New York City Bill Increasing Safety Training Requirements Signed into Law

Following a surge in job-site deaths, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law a contentious bill requiring construction workers to receive more safety training. Workers on most construction sites will now need to receive at least 40 hours of additional safety training.


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Let's Get Technical

You know what’s disruptive? Hurricanes. Wreaking havoc in the Caribbean, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastated Texas, Florida and beyond.


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Megger DET4TD2 four-pole ground resistance tester
Cool Tools: Grounding Testers 2017

A building’s electrical system must be properly grounded to ensure it functions properly, to prevent damage to the system’s components, and, of course, to protect people from potentially deadly electrical shocks.



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Fluke Networks CableIQ qualification tester
Cool Tools: Qualification and Performance Testers

For local area networks that do not require certification, qualification (or performance) testing is a less expensive option for contractors to test that an installation complies with component manufacturer standards and will perform to specifications.


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Readily Accessible, Jam Factor and More

Jim Dollard has an extensive background in codes and standards. If you have a query about the National Electrical Code (NEC), Jim will help you solve it. Send questions to codefaqs@gmail.com. Answers are based on the 2017 NEC.
 Readily accessible



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Further Refinement: Incident Energy Reduction in the NEC

Designing and installing specialized electrical equipment with the intent of reducing the incident energy of an arcing fault was first introduced in 240.87 of the 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) and was further refined in the 2014 NEC.


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High Workmanship Standards

During the mid-1990s, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) made a major effort to develop electrical installation standards for the electrical construction industry. The initial work included the creation of NECA 1, Standard for Good Workmanship in Electrical Construction.


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More Disruption To Come

Networked lighting controls are intelligent and programmable systems in which devices communicate to enact control strategies.


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From Way up Here

More than 2 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds every day. Scaffold accidents cause thousands of injuries and are involved in many job-site fatalities each year.


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Mistakes, I've Made A Few

Nobody’s perfect, and I’m no exception. My first job in the electrical construction industry was driving a truck for a wholesale house. Within the first month, I didn’t secure my load well enough and lost a 10-foot stick of strut though the side of my stake bed truck.


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Lightning-induced damage

Quality Control

In the August issue, I reviewed some common power-quality related issues, including insulation failures on a motor’s outer windings, unexplained offline trips of adjustable speed drives, blown fuses on surge suppression strips, damaged electronic equipment power supplies, premature lamp and ballast


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The End of the Internal Combustion Engine?

A slowly growing trend may have just reached critical mass.


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NECA 2017 Seattle Wrapup

The NECA Show is the biggest trade show and convention in the electrical construction industry. Each year, thousands of contractors and hundreds of exhibitors descend on a choice city, and this year, it was in Seattle.


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Massive Recovery Efforts Underway After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Prior to 2017, the United States had never experienced two Category 4 hurricane landfalls in the same year. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma occurred within just two weeks of each other.


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DOE Invests $32 Million In Grid Modernization

As the nation's energy mix evolves to comprise an expanding supply of green power, its distribution systems must also keep up with those changes. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting research toward that end to encourage greater modernization and resiliency on the grid.


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Wind Costs Could Be Cut In Half By 2030

Science and innovation have helped propel renewable energy into the mainstream, and they will continue to fuel that trend into the future. According to a recent report by the Department of Energy (DOE), science could help dramatically reduce the cost of wind power over the next decade.


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Ben Saunders Takes NECA Closing General Session to Ends of the Earth

At the close of NECA 2017, attendees were treated to the amazing story of Ben Saunders, polar explorer.


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2017 Showstopper Awards Presented

Each year, after our independent panel of judges selects the Showstoppers, we award them with a quick ceremony at our booth on the show floor.


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Former Starbucks CEO to NECA Show Attendees: 'Never Be Bigger Than the Front Line'

Every year, the NECA Convention and Trade Show attracts the biggest names and leaders in the electrical construction industry. They come to both share their knowledge and learn from other experts what they can do to keep their businesses growing.


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