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Wisconsin Department of Safety& Professional Services Division looks to roll back electrical safetyrequirements
Blog Post created by Tim McClintock](https://community.nfpa.org/people/timmcclintock)
TheWisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Division](https://community.nfpa.org/external-link.jspa?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdsps.wi.gov%2FHome)(DSPS) is proposing to exclude Arc Fault and Ground Fault Circuit interruption(AFCI/GFCI) expansion from the Wisconsin Electrical Code despite objection fromthe State’s Electrical Advisory Council. DSPS tried to eliminate AFCI andGFCI in 2012 and the reaction from the electrical industry and fire serviceswas so strong that Governor Scott Walker “pulled the plug” on DSPS’s actions.
Likemany states, Wisconsin has adopted the NEC for the state’s electricalcode. DSPS’ proposed amendments for AFCI and GFCI requirements would beless than the minimum requirements prescribed by the current edition of the National Electrical Code](https://community.nfpa.org/external-link.jspa?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nfpa.org%2F70). Sincethe introduction of GFCI requirements in NFPA’s National Electrical Code in1971, the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a decreasing trend in thenumber of electrocutions in the United States. The U.S. Consumer ProductsSafety Commission provides valuable insight to the importance of GFCI in theirElectrocution Reduction Program. Recognizing the value of GFCI protectionthrough timely adoption of the NEC will further the safety of Wisconsincitizens and will demonstrate that DSPS is a leader in public safety.
U.S.fire departments responded to an estimated average of 47,820 reported U.S. homestructure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2007-2011. Thesefires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries and $1.48billion in direct property damage.
Toproceed with the proposed rules changes is a dangerous disservice to thecitizens of the state of Wisconsin who have an expectation that they can safelyinterface with the electrical systems within homes, businesses, institutionsand recreational facilities.
TheDSPS has an opportunity to stand-up for the safety of all Wisconsin residentsby not allowing these rule changes to proceed and maintain the exemplary recordthat the state of Wisconsin has achieved as being a leader in electricalsafety. It is a decision that we can all live with. If you are interesting in attending the public hearings on these proposedchanges, and weighing in with your thoughts, they begin tomorrow, January 31st](https://community.nfpa.org/external-link.jspa?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdsps.wisconsin.gov%2FBoards-Councils%2FCalendar).