Written by Patrick Simpson
Executive Director, SAFERhome Society
Have you ever wondered why your home electrical outlets are installed at 12 inches above the finished floor?
In 1901 when electricity was a new thing and it was being retrofittedorinstalled intoexisting homes, electricians found out very quickly that if all the outlets were not all at the same height the clients would complain about sloppy installation. The electrical industry immediately started a new training program for apprentice electricians and they were taught to always usetheir hammers to set the height of the electrical box during a pre-wire or retrofit. Most hammers are about 12 inches long and your home was built this way and your outlets are a reflection of the approximate size of the electrician’s hammer who installed your homes outlets. So consistency throughout the house but not throughout the neighbourhood
Universal design has established through extensive ergonomic research that electrical outlets should be installed at 18 inches to centre from the finished floor. This height works best for the widest range of people. If you have a bad back you will notice the difference right away. It is much easier to bend over and reach to 18 inches as verses 12 inches. If you do this during new construction there is no cost to make this adjustment.
Small and inexpensive building details are what changes everyone’s minimal building code house into a true home for the future. SAFERhome is the recognized consumer standard for building future proof housing that is worth more than the standard minimal code housing which all developers are currently offeringthe public.
Yes, you may have lovely granite counter tops and beautiful flooring but if your house doesn’t accommodate your family’sneeds you are living in an old fashioned dangerous unfriendly house.
SAFERhome – Giving Inclusion More Power Socially and turning housing into homes.