The Alabama Electrical Contractors Board has approved use of National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) for regulator purposes, effective Jan. 1, 2002. The NEIS are a series of quality standards for electrical construction, published by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

"What this action means is that counties throughout the state now have the ability to adopt NEIS standards for electrical construction within their jurisdiction," said David Carpenter, chairman of the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board. "This means they'll be able to inspect jobs to the workmanship requirements of the NEIS, in addition to safety requirements of the National Electrical Code."

National Electrical Installation Standards explain what is meant by installing electrical products and systems in a "neat and workmanlike manner" as required by the National Electrical Code (NEC). Everything in the publications agrees with the NEC. However, because they are quality standards, NEIS may also contain additional requirements that go beyond NEC safety minimums. Examples of such supplemental quality and workmanship requirements include:

·Receiving and storing material on site

·Proper handling and lifting procedures

·Seismic bracing of electrical equipment

·Installation procedures, such as conduit bending

·Testing, lamp burn-in, and other project close-out procedures ·Site cleanup

·Orderly turn-over of project to owner

"Now that the state of Alabama has acted to allow regulatory use of our standards, the next step is an educational process," said Brooke Stauffer, NECA director of codes and standards. "Counties have the right to adopt National Electrical Installation Standards, and now we have to give them the knowledge to make sure they do so. There are a lot of benefits to using NEIS, and it's up to us to inform Alabama code officials and inspectors all about them."

To kick off this educational effort, the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) will have a presentation of NECA's quality standards at the upcoming Alabama Chapter meeting. The April meeting in Birmingham is expected to be attended by officials from all over the state.

"We should have two hundred or so electrical inspectors there," Stauffer said. "That's a great opportunity to begin using NEIS for regulatory purposes in Alabama."