Wisconsin’s fire chiefs and home builders remain at odds over an update to the electrical code, that would require circuit interrupters in new home construction. Wauwatosa Fire Chief Bob Ugaste heads the Wisconsin State Firefighters Association. He and other fire chiefs, electricians and home inspectors held a Capitol press conference on Monday.
“They (arc fault circuit interrupters and ground fault circuit interrupters) need to be in our state electrical code and they need to be expanded,” Ugaste said. “If they’re not, in all honesty people are most likely going to die or be seriously injured as a result.”
Middleton electrical inspector Bill Neitzel chaired an advisory committee that recommended use of circuit interrupters in new homes. It’s a recommendation the state Department of Safety and Professional Services has so far not acted on.
“I believe the governor, having a family of his own, realizes how important this is,” Neitzel said. They’re asking the Governor Scott Walker to intercede.
Brad Boyks with the Wisconsin Builders Association says new homes can be built safely with the existing code. “We think that the homes that are being built now and with this code moving forward as written will definitely insure the safety of Wisconsin families,” Boyks said.