Required Clearance for Electrical Lines Over Buildings – both vertical and horizontal – under the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)

A downed electrical line coming into contact with a building or person can result in electrical shock or fire. In order to protect buildings and the occupants inside them from injury or death, the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) created clearance regulations for electrical lines that hang over or run next to buildings. The NESC, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is considered the industry standard for electrical safety regulations. Most state regulatory commissions adopt the NESC. The NESC publishes both vertical clearance requirements for electrical lines running over buildings and horizontal clearance regulations for electrical lines running adjacent to buildings. The vertical clearance regulation is dependent on whether or not the roof is available to pedestrians. If the roof is not accessible to pedestrians, the electrical line must be no less than 12.5 feet from the highest point of the roof. Whereas if a roof is accessible to…

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