Directive: BC Electrical Code Section 14 - Protection and Control
March 2, 2016
This directive is being issued by a provincial safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act.
A: Protective Devices
14-106 Location and Grouping
Overcurrent devices shall be located in readily accessible places, except as provided for elsewhere in the BC Electrical Code (BCEC), and shall be grouped where practicable.
Rules 14-106 and 14-406, of the BCEC require that overcurrent and control devices must be readily accessible. Readily accessible is defined in the BCEC as:
“capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspection, without requiring those to whom ready access is a requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, chairs, etc.”
This definition does not require the location to be within a particular occupancy where utilization equipment, or branch circuit overcurrent devices are installed.
- Other than dwelling units, branch circuit overcurrent devices are interpreted as being readily accessible when located within the occupancy that the circuits supply.
In apartments and similar buildings, the feeder disconnecting means shall be located where the feeder receives its supply and may include additional disconnecting means at the panelboard.
- Access to the common area shall not be impeded by barriers. Access through a door is considered readily accessible when the key for the door is readily accessible.
- This requirement is intended to improve safety by providing ready access to the disconnecting means controlling electrical equipment inside the occupancy.
B: Control Devices
14-406 Location of Control Devices
(1) Control devices, with the exception of isolating switches, shall be readily accessible.
(2) Remotely controlled devices shall be considered to be readily accessible if the means of controlling them are readily accessible.
- Readily accessible is interpreted to be in the occupancy that the circuits serve and must be capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspection, without requiring those to whom ready access is a requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, chairs, etc.
- Devices such as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) as required by the BCEC are considered having control properties and shall be readily accessible.
- When these devices are integral with an overcurrent device (breaker), they are considered readily accessible in which case the interpretation outlined in A above applies.
- When these devices are located in a receptacle configuration, including devices without a Diagram 1 or 2 configuration, such as faceless types, they too shall be readily accessible.
Provincial Safety Manager
Safety Standards Act
Electrical Safety Regulation
Safety Standards General Regulation