2020 Fire Fighter Disco 1 & 2 Family Dwellings 230.85

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kwired

Electron manager
If such requirement ends up happening, I'd like to see exception allowing for shunt trip main and remote switch for fire fighters. If they have to cut a lock before operating the switch, so what, they have the ability to do that.

As far as spraying water on who knows what... direct stream is what has electrical continuity issues. To fight a fire direct stream is putting a lot of water in a small area, most of the time they are more likely to have wider mist pattern and not a direct stream, unless shooting the stream a long distance, but then allowing it to break up as it falls on it's target.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
...
As far as spraying water on who knows what... direct stream is what has electrical continuity issues. To fight a fire direct stream is putting a lot of water in a small area, most of the time they are more likely to have wider mist pattern and not a direct stream, unless shooting the stream a long distance, but then allowing it to break up as it falls on it's target.
Testing done by Purdue University for the US Navy a number of years ago, showed that even with seawater and a straight tip nozzle at 100 psi and 125 gmp, the current at the nozzle would be less than 5 mA at ~15' from energized 440 volt equipment. If the nozzle was set to a 30° fog pattern, the current was less than 5 mA at the nozzle ~2' from the energized equipment.
The more serious water hazard for fire fighters is standing or flowing water in the floor or ground that is in contact with a power source.
 

chris1971

Senior Member
New proposed section 230.85 requires a Emergency Disconnect for service conductors of 1 & 2 family dwellings located readily accessible outside the dwelling.

Know as the "Fire Fighter Disconnected"

Here is the language...

230.85 Emergency Disconnects(s)
For one- and two-family dwelling units, all service conductors shall terminate in disconnecting means having a short-circuit rating equal to or greater than the available fault current, installed in a readily accessible outdoor location. If more than one disconnect is provided, they shall be grouped. Each disconnect shall be one of the following:

(1) Service disconnect(s) marked as follows: EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, SERVICE DISCONNECT

(2) Meter disconnect(s) installed per 230.83(#) and marked as follows: EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, METER DISCONNECT, NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT

(3) Other than listed disconnect switch(es) or circuit breaker(s) on the supply side of each service disconnect that are suitable for use as service equipment and marked : EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT

Markings shall comply with 110.21(B)
Stupid proposal!
 

kwired

Electron manager
Testing done by Purdue University for the US Navy a number of years ago, showed that even with seawater and a straight tip nozzle at 100 psi and 125 gmp, the current at the nozzle would be less than 5 mA at ~15' from energized 440 volt equipment. If the nozzle was set to a 30° fog pattern, the current was less than 5 mA at the nozzle ~2' from the energized equipment.
The more serious water hazard for fire fighters is standing or flowing water in the floor or ground that is in contact with a power source.
Agree, how often is there something on the floor in a dwelling - I suppose extension cords but no permanent wiring.

Around here you sometimes see center pivot irrigation sprinkler shooting right at 7200 volt to ground POCO primary lines or at transformer banks, nothing happens as it is not a direct stream.
 

Adamjamma

Senior Member
Agreed one would want them to 'work' at it Adam, while making it easy for 1st responders is the conundrum

It's how the knox box came to be....

~RJ~
The Knox Box is interesting but still like the idea that Jamaica is toying with... firefighter switch on outside of building but high enough that a pole on the truck is needed for operating it... Based on the UK rules for one... in fact, the wording and signs on it are straight from the BS 7671 codebook...
The current wording is to require the utility switch and a switch next to it for solar if installed in the residence... and the two cannot be more than 4 feet apart... any apartments etc with separate meters still must have their firefighter switches grouped so the fire fighter could stand in one area and switch them all off... but the 6 switch rule from the NEC is being dropped from the firefighters idea because of the want for all the apartments and solar to be grouped in one area only.. no second areas to go to unless the building is over so many feet... or has more than one utility supply to it...

Truly, some parts of this make sense to me and other parts of what the proposed changes for the Electrical Code in Jamaica make no sense... they were saying they want to adopt the NEC and now saying it would cause too much confusion to adopt it..I think the country just wants to stay in the 80s..lol
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Stupid proposal!
I agree for several reasons. Main one being that 99.999% of fires will not be in a brand new home, and if there is a roaring fire, the disconnect is either going to be overlooked, on fire itself, or attached to a structure that is... on fire... Radiated heat would probably preclude you from getting within 20 feet of thing.

Plus, even if the disco is there, noticed, and successfully operated, you still have power attached to the house up at that point.

Short wish list of changes Id like to see would be repealing 210.12 in its entirety, changing the language 200.6 to remark existing and smaller than 4 gauge wire as neutrals, and deleting the requirement to bond coax and telephone to the GES. And leave kitchen island receptacle replacement alone for at least every other code cycle... The rate at which those sections change is ridiculous.
 

readydave8

remember
I hope it does not go through or requires put in a box that only firefighters can access...
imagine the burglar scenario... turn off firefighter disconnects for home, no alarm, take time breaking in...
same with murderers or rapists... turn off firefighters disconnect..no video gear to catch me...lol..
Usually I just pull the meter anyway when B&E'ing
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
I agree for several reasons. Main one being that 99.999% of fires will not be in a brand new home, and if there is a roaring fire, the disconnect is either going to be overlooked, on fire itself, or attached to a structure that is... on fire... Radiated heat would probably preclude you from getting within 20 feet of thing.
I'm not in favor of the disco rule, either, but not for the above reason. Natural gas shut off valves are right on the house. Mine is about two feet from my electric meter.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I'm not in favor of the disco rule, either, but not for the above reason. Natural gas shut off valves are right on the house. Mine is about two feet from my electric meter.
Gas shut off is a different safety concern for fire fighters. Yes if gas is left on can fuel the fire but it won't suddenly and unexpectedly electrocute a fire fighter.
 

Adamjamma

Senior Member
I would think that the fire department would want it that way, and would have the training to turn the gas off then turn the power off... they do get a load of training, after all.
 

Wire-Smith

Senior Member
most of the fire departments i know about have telescoping hot sticks to pull cutouts. i like the outdoor disconnect but i don't care for the reasoning
 

kwired

Electron manager
most of the fire departments i know about have telescoping hot sticks to pull cutouts. i like the outdoor disconnect but i don't care for the reasoning
I don't know I like the idea of them operating open style medium voltage components unless they get some fairly extensive medium voltage training like POCO employees do. Sure it looks easy, but in abnormal conditions do they understand the possible hazards that may be out of ordinary? Do they train them to ground out the disconnected portion of circuit like POCO's typically would do? Do they know for certain if there is a possible two way feed involved in what they are attempting to disconnect, or at least how to tell if there is? POCO's are pretty good as a general rule on getting someone dispatched in short time in such incidents.

I remember a vehicle accident in nearby town, I kind of witnessed most of the incident where this car crashed into a small substation that supplied the entire town. I wasn't real close to the scene but could see most of what was going on. Police officer was first emergency responder on the scene. He was smart enough to not let anyone near the substation until POCO said it was safe to approach. Fire fighters and EMT's showed up before POCO but could do nothing until POCO said it was safe. These were volunteer firefighters and EMT's, I wouldn't want to have any of them attempt to open the 34.5 kV lines supplying that substation, let those trained to handle that sort of thing do it, no sense in risking someone else besides the occupant of the vehicle. (he apparently had some sort of "medical emergency" is why his vehicle went off the road and crashed into the substation is about the only information I ever heard on why this incident happened)
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
most of the fire departments i know about have telescoping hot sticks to pull cutouts. i like the outdoor disconnect but i don't care for the reasoning
The utilities around here do not permit that. The only ones that can do that are their employees. Very few fire personal have the knowledge and training required to pull the cutouts.
 

Wire-Smith

Senior Member
The utilities around here do not permit that. The only ones that can do that are their employees. Very few fire personal have the knowledge and training required to pull the cutouts.

lol, different folks different strokes. i've done it just working for an electrical contractor, no smart meter though so poco never knew, had to ask neighbor if they were okay with power out for a little while though, luckily neighbors got a long with each other.

a simple single phase cutout for a small service does not require much training.

i'm not in a very bureaucratic area though either, i've heard a lot of things about pocos in other areas that i just have to laugh at comparing to how things are done around here.

i'm not even a residential guy and i have a pile of meter tags the linemen give me, no i didn't ask and don't really care if i have them or not. a commercial service i was messing with once, the meter guy just told me i could throw the meter back in when i was done.

i remember helping somebody on the side and the lineman called the guy i was helping and just told him he could cut the overhead service conductors if he wanted to and he would come out when we were done to put a tag on.
 
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don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
lol, different folks different strokes. i've done it just working for an electrical contractor, no smart meter though so poco never knew, had to ask neighbor if they were okay with power out for a little while though, luckily neighbors got a long with each other.
....
One of the utilities here, will have a contractor arrested if they do that.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
i've heard many places are supposed to be like that. by any chance have you actually heard of someone being arrested for that, that wasn't connected to copper theft?
I was personally threatened with arrest via phone when I wanted to open cutouts at a plant I was working on so I could repair a broken cutout on the load side of the utility cutout.
 

mbrooke

Senior Member
I was personally threatened with arrest via phone when I wanted to open cutouts at a plant I was working on so I could repair a broken cutout on the load side of the utility cutout.
What would they charge you with though? What statute does it specifically violate?
 
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