The importance of protecting branch circuit conductors


Recently, a BCSA safety officer inspecting a home with a small shop found an improper installation of a cable that could have resulted in fire. The cable feeding the receptacle was subject to contact with tools and scrap building materials.  If the cable was left in this condition without protection, it could suffer damage, causing weakened insulation that might result in overheating or electrical faults leading to a fire.


BCSA investigates dozens of fires each year where electrical sources are suspected to be the cause. Many of these involve cases where cables were subjected to mechanical damage. The BC electrical code rule 12-518 requires that when cable used in exposed wiring is located less than 1.5 meters above a floor, it must be adequately protected.

Once made aware of the potential hazard, the homeowner took the necessary steps to protect the cable.

Circuit wiring (NMD90) subjected to damage by tools and wood products.

Wiring subjected to mechanical damage on ground and passing through metal skirting unprotected.