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#89107 09/01/04 04:00 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1
jklm51 Offline OP
Junior Member
What are the responsabilities of a licensed electrician to report existing electrical hazards to other authorities? My question is because the building owner has chosen not to act on these problems. Whether we get the contract for the work or not there is a potential for serious life safety issues.
In order to not only protect my company ( we have done work in the facility ) I am concerned with the general public's safety as this is a busy commercial building.
Who and where do I report this to in Pennsylvania/City of Pittsburgh area ?

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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
If you feel this is a life safety issue, report it to the building department and let them handle the rest.


Pierre Belarge
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
So uh, how bad is it?

A few unsupported conduits or every plug is hot ground @ 277?

You got a touchy situation.... Do you ever want to work for the Owner? If not, call your Electrical Inspector.

If so, and you get the contract, put all violations or safety issues you see on a list, with a little letter, saying you recommend these items are taken care of. Give to him, if you do or don't get the contract, you put copy in a file called "CYA". If something happens... "YAIC"

If you got the contract for the work "requiring a permit", during your inspection, that paper from the "CYA" file will be the second thing on your clip-board. During this inspection, don't forget to walk the Inspector through the worst area, on the way to your work, mumbling the words "Fire Hazard" and "Death Trap" to yourself. If he happens to notice one of the items, and HE brings it up to YOU, then you pop out the list. And say, "Well, just so happens I brought that up with SLUM LORD, I mean Mr. Whatevadahecisnamis, and he wasn't interested in doing any of this work yet. Said, it would cost too much... But I think it should be done before some DIES!


Sorry I got carried away in the fiction of it, but you get what I mean, right.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Oh, have I done that before? Yep!

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
jklm51 (et all)
i've used words like 'fire hazard' and 'death trap' in conversations to the state fire marshal/electrical inspector for years here...

it does no good at all

safety laws, codes, regulations, ordinaces, or whatever form of legalities that superficially lull the public into a false sense of security without the manpower to enforce them become self serving to administrators...

additionally, the fear culture mentality of sheepeople allows this to be cyclical...


Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,745
Likes: 13
I would think you would have more success calling their insurance carrier or legal department. It will always come down to money and when someone looks at the risk vs cost of doing it right they will probably fix it.
People are a lot more afraid of litigation than of government. In fact, when the government really comes after you, they sue you.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
As an electrical inspector, I am not allowed back into a house unless there is an open permit for a job. No permit I am not allowed back in. If there is a permit, I can't fail you for the job you did. I am not allowed to retrofit the code in my state. I can only point out the fact to the homeowner that there is a major/minor electrical violation and that the homeowner should take care of it. Too many times the homeowner thinks that the contractor is trying to get more work out of the homeowner, when in fact there aren't. What I use to do is list the violations on my bill, this way if anything happened, the homeowner couldn't come back to me and say, "Well you never told me about the problem." I figured that my response to them would be, "Well, you paid me my bill. I fgured that you must have read my bill in order to pay me, so you must have also read that there is a violation in your house." I also would tell homeowners when I saw, termite damage, holes in the roof, or any other damage that I thought the homeowner should know about.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
well Harold,
if you worked in Vermont we'd probably see you rarely if at all, one inspector i know is over 12,000 permits in the hole here.

these places have been closed up so long the EC has probably retired

i get calls from them for things i did years ago here

and you want to complain to someone about a hazard ?


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