Written by Patrick Simpson
Executive Director, SAFERhome Society
Have you ever wondered why your home electrical outlets are installed at 12 or so inches above the sub-floor?
In 1901 when electricity was a new thing and it was being retro fitted or installed into existing homes, electricians found out very quickly 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 use their 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
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 zero cost to make small this adjustment.
Similar adjustment to kitchen outlets means a middle spacing between the counter top and the bottom of the cupboards.
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. Housing which is worth more than the standard minimal code built housing which most developers are currently offeringthe public.
Yes, you may have lovely granite counter tops and beautiful flooring however if your house doesn’t accommodate your family’s needs you are living in an old fashioned dangerous unfriendly house.
SAFERhome – Giving Inclusion More Power Socially and turning housing into homes.