Guys, What would it take in your country for a condemnation order(Electrically) to be served?. Also, would this happen before the Building Inspector had a look at the place?, with respect to bad Structural work, where the building is held up by a single 300 x 100 beam. Do you fella's have the "power" to condemn an installation as "Electrically Unsafe"?. If the need should arise, where is your Safety net?.
So far as I'm aware, there is no official mechanism in the U.K. to electrically condemn a building (private, residential).
The local council has the power to condemn a building if it becomes so structurally unsound that it's in danger of dropping masonry on passers-by or something along those lines, and the health dept. may become involved in there's a health hazard, e.g. rat infestation.
The utilities have the power (excuse the pun!) to disconnect service to a building if they consider the wiring to be so unsafe as to be a severe danger, but by all accounts it has to be really bad before that happens, especially with way the PoCo these days seems to pretty much adopt the "couldn't care less what happens after it leaves the meter" stance.
Commercial buildings such as factories are another matter, as they come under the Health & Safety at Work Acts, enforced by the Gestapo (er.... I mean the Health & Safety Executive ).
#137997 - 08/09/0307:00 PMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.
Here the HSA, Health and Safety Athority, also behaves like that. They're EXTREMELY strict. Typically if they see a breech of regs they'll not only take legal action but they'll close the entire site down until it's brought up to code.
This is a particularly severe penalty for builders and has worked very well to concentrate the minds when it comes to safety issues!
Random inspections, any breech of codes/regulations/general safety rules.. e.g. one guy found not to be wearing correct safety gear correctly, scaffolding not covered in, site not sealed off, lack of appropriate signage, etc etc.. they'll close the entire site for X days.. or until an independent consultant has, at the contractors cost, shown that they have complied! 3-4 days stoppage on a site can cost a LOT of money! The lead contractor is also held liable for the costs if this happens.
It's why I always find the advice on travel sites about BS546 adaptors and old wiring hillarious. If the HSA saw a BS546 socket in a hotel bedroom they'd launch a massive investigation and tell you it was not acceptable for a non-specialist use.
In a domestic situation there's nothing like that.
The ESB (PoCo) can refuse to energise any installation that does not meet the codes.
They can also pull the fuse on an installation that's a danger to the public or to their network..This happens where someone's messed up the neutralising arrangements! or where a fault blows the main supply fuse..
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 08-09-2003).]
#137998 - 08/10/0310:28 AMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.
In Public, commercial or rented buildings various agencies can act. For electrical issues, I think it all comes down to the national electric safety board. I few weeks ago there was a notice in the newspaper about such an incident: The owner was ordered to fix the buildings electric system immediately or be fined 100' kronas, i.e. $12 000. (And if he didn't fix the fire exits, the fire department wanted seven times as much)
[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 08-10-2003).]
#137999 - 08/10/0304:59 PMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.
The rules and enforcement by the HSE in some areas has gotten ridiculous. Look around many public buildings here (by which I mean places which are accessible to the general public, e.g. shops, offices, factories), and you'll see the marks where perfectly good FIRE EXIT signs have been replaced in the last few years with the new white & green "running man" pictorial signs.
It's now illegal not to have the new signs, and it seems that the HSE considers anyone who hasn't changed over to the new signs to be some sort of major felon!
#138000 - 08/11/0304:16 AMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.
Guys, I was wondering about this subject, just as a passing thought. Paul, I've seen this "couldn't care less" attitude from PoCo's before, but, it does become their problem, where a consumers Fault can knock the Lines passing their house out and it then affects everyone on the same lines. Just as an aside, I had a Fault, one night(these things just never happen during the day, for some ODD reason), that knocked out 156 houses and I traced it to a house at the start of the line, after 3 hours of going up and down the same road trying to find the suspect house with a Megger at each Transformer, as ALL the DDO's on all the poles blew. Line Grids as they are, are fed from 2-3 directions, sometimes even 4, if you are really unlucky!. But, long story short, a few people were even given my personal Cellphone number and by the end of the night, I was sick to death of people asking me when their Power was going to be back on!!. But back to the topic at hand, Emergency Exit signs are a perfect example of how over-blown legislation has become, over here in NZ, we have worked under both our own and Australian standards and we now have an un-workable mish-mash of Standards. Which would you sooner recognise?, as a Customer in a shop or Department store, if the supply failed, the EXIT sign or the "Running Man"?.
#138001 - 08/11/0306:39 AMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.
Precisely! And aren't fire chiefs always telling people that the one thing NOT to do in an emergency situation is panic and run?
I don't buy the "It's for non-English speaking people" argument either. If you visited Continental Europe knowing nothing of foreign languages, how long would it take you to figure out that Sortie, Salida, Ausgang etc. meant Exit when you see it over doors everywhere? Maybe a half hour at the most?
Re knocking out lines, every house has a main cartridge fuse here (like the block in the "Overloading?" thread), so it's quite hard for a fault on the consumer's side of the meter to knock out the street.
I can only second what's been said on residential wiring. I don't think you can do anything. I once heard there's a requirement to have an installation tested if it was disconnected by the PoCo for more than 3 years, but I'm not sure about that. For gas lines such a requirement definitely exists and usually leads to a complete replumbing including all appliances, but Wiengas is known to be much stricter than Wienstrom (well, a gas explosion takes down the entire house. An electrical fire might only damage one room). If bad structural work is threatening passers-by on the sidewalk you can call the citizen service and they'll try to get thew owner to do something, but I don't know if that's really got teeth. Usually they just put up a warning sign "Caution! Falling plaster!" and block off the sidewalk, forcing people to cross the street. The only people who seem to be able to do something are the tram company. They can even bypass the tree felling codes if a tree threatens their catenaries. (In Vienna you must not fell a tree that isn't dead without a special permit and the obligation of planting one replacement tree (even if the tree was dead). If you chop down a tree without permission you're imposed a hefty fine and have to plant five (!) replacement trees. And lots of people seem to be just sitting around watching you, just to be able to call the environment protection guys).
#138003 - 08/13/0302:05 AMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.
Ranger, Over here the re-inspection period is 6 months for Electricity, not sure what the period is for Gas, because we don't have reticulated Gas systems here, at least not in the part of NZ that I come from, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have them, but our Gas lines(Old Coal gas) were taken out years ago. But, the 6 month re-inspection over here really riles some people, especially people that have just bought a place and the power has been disconnected for up to a year. Before the Lines Co will allow it to be re-connected to thier Network, it must pass an Inspection, done by THIER Inspectors. I've done heaps of these jobs, bringing a house up to Regulation standard and they are none too cheap either!. Paul, I hear you on the issue of EXIT signs, Emegency Lighting is such these days, that you should only look for a green arrow or the running man.
#138004 - 08/13/0307:48 PMRe: Condemnation of a Building?.