Residential Exterior Emergency Disconnects
2020 NEC® Code Change to section 230.85
First Responders have the unique and difficult task of arriving on a scene, usually with more than a few variables that have to be taken into consideration. Very often, they’re in harm’s way.
Mitigating risk for these individuals continues to be of utmost importance when generating code changes; and a recent development from the NEC® may further assist them in eliminating undue risk in their role.
This risk mitigation comes in the requirement for the location of an emergency disconnect, now effective for all newly-built dwelling units. This disconnect is required to be in a readily accessible outdoor location, as well as being clearly labeled, so it can be quickly identified by any emergency personnel or first responders on the scene.
Providing first responders with an outdoor-accessible shutoff is critical in situations that may involve fire, gas leakage, structural damage, or flooding. When a disconnect is located indoors (especially in a basement or other storage area) the ability to identify and reach it may be challenging or even severely compromised, putting both the responders and any potential occupants in further danger.