Repair or replace? NFPA checklist helps you assess damaged electrical systems after a natural disaster

by Brianna Crandall — September 20, 2019 — The past few months have delivered a number of powerful and damaging natural disasters across the US. From earthquakes and wildfires in the west, tornadoes in the Midwest, and hurricanes across northern and southern states, no one part of the country has been immune to the mighty force of nature, points out the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). And man-made disasters continue as well.

As a result of these events, building owners and managers of industrial and commercial facilities face the daunting process of disaster recovery. More specifically, when electrical systems are damaged in a natural or man-made disaster, electricians need to make critical decisions about whether the electrical equipment that was damaged can be salvaged or not.

To address this need, a new NFPA checklist has been developed for electricians that helps highlight and simplify key aspects of this decision-making process. The checklist is based on recommendations in Chapter 32 of NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance (2019 edition).

Following these straightforward suggestions can help make the difference between an impossible task and an informed decision, says NFPA.

The electrical systems assessment checklist includes:

  • A list of disaster scenarios that can inflict damage of varying degrees to facilities
  • Steps for assessing equipment
  • A Priority Assessment Table
  • Steps to help identify factors for replacement or repair

Register to download the free “Natural Disaster Electrical Equipment Checklist: Repair or Replace?” from the NFPA website to help prepare before a disaster strikes.

Additional information about NFPA 70B can be found in the National Electrical Code (NEC) section of NFPA’s website. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free.