ROSSLYN, Va., September 2, 2005"oIn response to electrical hazards posed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, NEMA (the National Electrical Manufacturers Association) will begin distributing copies of its brochure, Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment, to electrical distributors, contractors, and inspectors in the Gulf Coast region.
Upon request from John Minick, its field representative in the region, NEMA turned to its partner and standards seller, Global Engineering Documents, which printed and shipped the brochures within eight hours of the request.
Minick, who covers the southeast region, will begin in Lake Charles, Louisiana¡X170 miles west of New Orleans¡Xand make his way to the east distributing the brochures to electrical personnel. He is unsure as to the conditions he will face. ¡§I¡¦m not sure who is down there or how to reach them, until some cell towers are operational again,¡¨ he says. Minick does not know if he will be able to reach Biloxi, Mississippi, or even if its city hall is still standing.
Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment is designed for use by suppliers, installers, inspectors, and users of electrical products. The document provides advice on the safe handling of electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. It outlines which items will require complete replacement or can be reconditioned by a trained professional. Equipment covered 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, electronic products including signaling, protection, communication systems, and industrial controls, and cable trays.
The entire brochure has been incorporated into the Federal Emergency Management Agency's manual, Principles and Practices for the Design and Construction of Flood Resistant Building Utility Systems, which is intended for developers, architects, engineers, builders, code officials, and homeowners who are involved in designing and constructing building utility systems for residential and nonresidential structures.
The NEMA brochure may be downloaded free of charge at http://www.nema.org/prod/be/enclosures/upload/Guidelines--water_damaged.pdf.
¡§We will distribute this guide as best we can,¡¨ says Minick. ¡§People need to know what is safe and what is not, and that a lot of the quick fixes are not, ultimately, safe fixes. We need to get the message out that all flood-damaged electrical equipment needs to be evaluated. Some equipment may be able to be repaired through professional rebuilders, but much of any electrical system that has been submerged will require replacement. Down the road, we certainly don¡¦t want to have electrical fires as a result of corroded electrical equipment that should have been replaced or refurbished.¡¨
Minick has worked closely with the electrical inspection community to publicize the availability of the NEMA brochure. He can be reached at (972) 642-8113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
¡§This is a tragedy of unspeakable proportions,¡¨ says NEMA President Malcolm O¡¦Hagan. ¡§We hope that this small gesture will make it easier for those whose job it is to get the electrical infrastructure up and running again.¡¨
Global Engineering Documents, a division of IHS Engineering, offers a broad base of engineering data, from research and design to manufacturing and repair, and is the world's most comprehensive source of hardcopy technical industry standards and government and military standards. More than 60,000 customers in 120 countries rely on Global to fill their need for standards and specifications from more than 460 technical societies around the world. Global may be contacted at (800) 854-7179 (within the U.S.), (303) 397-7956 (international), or (303) 397-2740 (fax).
NEMA is the leading trade association in the United States representing the interests of electroindustry manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 400 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. Domestic shipments of electrical products within the NEMA scope exceed $100 billion.