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  1. #1
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    Default Lock on the electric room door

    Am I imagining things or did I read somewhere that the electric room that contains all of the shut-offs is never to be locked?

    The building I'm looking at is a new construction set of row houses with 5 units. The area is at one end of the building and opens directly to outside. There are 6 meters with shut-offs, the panel for the common area lights and some phone/cable tv stuff.

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  2. #2
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    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    I want my 10 year old "locked" out of that room.

    Critical Home Inspection Services
    www.Home2Spec.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    There is nothing wrong with locking them.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Am I imagining things or did I read somewhere that the electric room that contains all of the shut-offs is never to be locked?

    The building I'm looking at is a new construction set of row houses with 5 units. The area is at one end of the building and opens directly to outside. There are 6 meters with shut-offs, the panel for the common area lights and some phone/cable tv stuff.

    Matt,

    I think that the reference that you are looking for is that the owners/tenants should have access. That can be done with keys provided to the tenants or with an unlocked door. The question might be how does the utility meter-reader get in?

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
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    Healdsburg, CA
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    Cool Re: Lock on the electric room door

    Thank goodness firemen don't need keys.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Am I imagining things or did I read somewhere that the electric room that contains all of the shut-offs is never to be locked?
    Yes and no, it is allowed and not allowed.

    Allow me to re-word that: It is *NOT* allowed, unless specific conditions are met, in which case it is allowed.

    From the 2002 NEC. (underlining is mine)

    ARTICLE 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations
    - II. 600 Volts, Nominal, or Less
    - - 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
    - - - Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electric equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment. Enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by lock and key shall be considered accessible to qualified persons.

    ARTICLE 240 Overcurrent Protection
    - 240.24 Location in or on Premises.
    - - (A) Accessibility. Overcurrent devices shall be readily accessible unless one of the following applies:
    - - - (1) For busways, as provided in 368.12.
    - - - (2) For supplementary overcurrent protection, as described in 240.10.
    - - - (3) For overcurrent devices, as described in 225.40 and 230.92.
    - - - (4) For overcurrent devices adjacent to utilization equipment that they supply, access shall be permitted to be by portable means.
    - - (B) Occupancy. Each occupant shall have ready access to all overcurrent devices protecting the conductors supplying that occupancy.
    - - - Exception No. 1: Where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service overcurrent devices and feeder overcurrent devices supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible to only authorized management personnel in the following:
    - - - - (a) Multiple-occupancy buildings
    - - - - (b) Guest rooms of hotels and motels that are intended for transient occupancy
    - - - Exception No. 2: Where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the branch circuit overcurrent devices supplying any guest rooms shall be permitted to be accessible to only authorized management personnel for guest rooms of hotels and motels that are intended for transient occupancy.

    Jerry's note: Note that locking is allowed "where these are under continuous building management supervision". That is not going to happen with those 5 units in that 1 building. This comment applies to the reference above and the reference below.

    From the 2008 NEC.

    - - (G) Locked Electrical Equipment Rooms or Enclosures. Electrical equipment rooms or enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by a lock(s) shall be considered accessible to qualified persons.

    ARTICLE 240 Overcurrent Protection
    - 240.24 Location in or on Premises.
    - - (A) Accessibility. Overcurrent devices shall be readily accessible and shall be installed so that the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, is not more than 2.0 m (6 ft 7 in.) above the floor or working platform, unless one of the following applies:
    - - - (1) For busways, as provided in 368.17(C).
    - - - (2) For supplementary overcurrent protection, as described in 240.10.
    - - - (3) For overcurrent devices, as described in 225.40 and 230.92.
    - - - (4) For overcurrent devices adjacent to utilization equipment that they supply, access shall be permitted to be by portable means.
    - - (B) Occupancy. Each occupant shall have ready access to all overcurrent devices protecting the conductors supplying that occupancy, unless otherwise permitted in 240.24(B)(1) and (B)(2).
    - - - (1) Service and Feeder Overcurrent Devices. Where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service overcurrent devices and feeder overcurrent devices supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible only to authorized management personnel in the following:
    - - - - (1) Multiple-occupancy buildings
    - - - - (2) Guest rooms or guest suites
    - - - (2) Branch-Circuit Overcurrent Devices. Where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the branch-circuit overcurrent devices supplying any guest rooms or guest suites without permanent provisions for cooking shall be permitted to be accessible only to authorized management personnel.

    Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.

    The building I'm looking at is a new construction set of row houses with 5 units. The area is at one end of the building and opens directly to outside. There are 6 meters with shut-offs, the panel for the common area lights and some phone/cable tv stuff.
    Just to clarify, you said "the building", you are correct in addressing that as "the", meaning "singular".

    You also said "set of row houses", that would be incorrect, it is, as just clarified, "the building", one building with 5 units. Like a 5 condo condominium (not wanting to raise too many hairs on the backs of too many necks with the use of the word "condominium", just clarifying that it is "1 building" with "5 units", the individual people *do not own* their part of the structure, they all own the 1 single common structure.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Thank goodness firemen don't need keys.
    This is the thing I was really thinking of and I guess that's why they always have an axe handy.

    Thanks everyone.....


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Osceola, AR
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    310

    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    This is the thing I was really thinking of and I guess that's why they always have an axe handy.

    Thanks everyone.....
    Actually a Halligan bar is the tool that most of us prefer for forcing doors, the axe is reserved for any realtors that may still be lurking about.
    Alton Darty
    ATN Services
    Osceola, AR


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lock on the electric room door

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Thank goodness firemen don't need keys.

    You mean 'in times of fire', right.

    They do, however, need keys in times of inspections.

    Not to mention what I've already mentioned for 'why it should not be locked' in the first place.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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