Electrical Safety Coalition Formed in N.Y.C. to Overturn Decision to End Building Inspections.

An electrical safety coalition has been formed in New York City in an effort to block the institution of a self-certification program proposed by the Building Commissioner of New York City.

According to Alexander Pirnie, president of the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, the decision to form the coalition was triggered following an announcement by New York City that it is seeking to eliminate electrical building inspections by allowing electrical contractors to "self-certify" their work in compliance with the electrical code.

Pirnie said that the coalition, yet to be named, was decided upon "after fruitless meetings with city representatives as well as unanswered letters by the mayor to address this safety concern."

"This cost-cutting measure will prove to be disastrous to the safety of New York City," warned Pirnie.

According to statistics from the National fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 8.9% of the fires originated with the electrical service.

Pirnie pointed out that Industrial Risk insurance, a group that provides insurance to highly protected risks, reported that in 1993, electrical fires accounted for almost 18% of all fires. Electrical fires also had the largest percent of dollar loss--more than 23%, with an average loss of $303,500.

Additionally, the New York Stale Office of Fire Prevention and Control found electrical fires were the fourth leading cause of structural fires, Pirnie said.

In a 1991 annual report of the...

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