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7 Ways to Stay Safe and Save Money This Winter

The word SAVE on a digital room thermostat wearing wooly hat.

Even though it seems a bit late this year, winter will eventually be upon us.  The freezing temperatures will not only make your heating bill rise, they could also cause potential hazards to your safety.  By taking the time to follow these seven tips, you will not only save money this winter, but reduce your exposure to hazards.

  1. Seal all air leaks in ductwork with foil faced tape. Duct tape does stick securely to galvanized metal. Add insulation wherever needed.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat and set it at 68 degrees or lower. You will easily save the cost of the thermostat the very first winter.
  3. Make sure all heat registers are not covered up with rugs, furniture or drapes. Air flow is important in maintaining optimum temperatures.
  4. Replace your furnace filter every three months at a minimum and every month during heavy use.
  5. Reverse the blade direction of your ceiling fans in order to circulate the heated air.
  6. Install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home and place it on the wall 2-3 feet above the floor rather than by the smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide is a heavy hazardous gas that you cannot see, taste or smell.
  7. Make sure your natural gas meter is always clear. Leaves, snow and ice can interfere with the operation and even cause a safety hazard.  Build up can also block natural gas exhaust and air intakes, increasing your risk of CO exposure.

It’s always good practice to conserve energy, but when you can combine it with saving money, it’s even better; not to mention protecting yourself. Weatherization and Energy Efficient Building is just one of the course options we provide to builders and contractors across the nation that will fulfill their builder or contractor license continuing education.

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Don’t Miss ECSTI’s MASSIVE Giveaway at IEC CON 2016 San Antonio!

file

IEC Con 2016 is GONNA BE BIG!

Stallcup’s® and ECSTI (Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute) is planning to give away a record number of prizes this year at IEC Con in San Antonio, Texas:  over 200 hardcopy books (Stallcup’s Illustrated Code Changes), 100 Electrician/Superhero t-shirts, complete electrical training course and continuing education packages, plus much more.

How do you win? Come visit us at Booth #112 to play Electrical PLINKO and claim your prize.

Does your IEC Chapter offer online electrical training and continuing education?

We will also be showcasing our IEC Chapter Affiliate training program, which allows IEC Chapters the opportunity to offer award-winning online electrical education courses including Stallcups® Journeyman electrician exam prep. This affiliation allows IEC Chapters to provide a MUCH larger training curriculum to their members, improve website ranking on the internet and introduce Chapters to more potential members in their region, all while adding to the bottom line.

Featured Online Electrical Courses:

  • NFPA 70E Safety Training Course (5 hours) – $69.00
  • Journeyman Electrical Theory (2 hours) – $39.00
  • Journeyman Direct Current (DC) Circuits (2 hours) – $39.00
  • Journeyman Alternating Current (AC) Circuits (2 hours) – $39.00
  • NFPA 70B Electrical Equipment Maintenance Course Series (24 hours) – $359.00
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Michigan Code Officials, Inspectors, and Plan Reviewers We Have a Plan for You

Real Estate Home Inspector

Building Officials must complete 50-hours of Continued Education, while, Inspectors and Plan Reviewers need 47-hours of CE before September 16th of 2018. That’s an average of 16-hours per year. Along with getting enough CE, you need to make sure you have enough hours in each of the five topics! Click on the descriptions below to see the different packages offered.

Building Official

Plan ReviewerInspector

 

 

 

Ordering a package with the exact amount of hours required for each topic, and approved by the State of Michigan is the best way to go.  It takes all the guess work out of the renewal process, saves an average of $140 over purchasing individual courses, and gives you access to your courses online 24/7.

Why Should I Take Online Courses?

Completing CE courses online has not only become an industry standard, it’s a welcomed alternative for our busy lifestyles. Trying to complete a 6 hr course all in one sitting is difficult but with any mobile device, internet access and 20 to 30 minutes, you can complete just one lesson at a time. Make use of time spent waiting for a client to show up, a meeting to start or an airline flight.  Even if you can only complete one lesson a day, with over 800 days left until the deadline, you will have completed your continued competency with plenty of time to spare.

worker at bridge construction site

Your course results will be submitted to the state, plus, you’ll have proof/record of your CE in one convenient place and you’ll have peace of mind that you are well on your way to fulfilling all your license renewal requirements.

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Michigan Building Code Changes Effective February 8, 2016

2015 Michigan Residential Code Book

Attention Michigan builders and remodelers!  As I’m sure you’ve heard, the State of Michigan will begin enforcing the new 2015 Michigan Residential Code on February 8, 2016.  As part of this new code, the State has adopted the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), edited appropriately for Michigan buildings. The addition of the 2015 IECC code has many Michigan builders and contractors calling us with questions so we thought we would put together a quick list of new requirements that everyone will have to incorporate beginning February 8th.

2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) – Chapter 11

As stated above, the 2015 IECC has been adopted as part of the Michigan Residential Code.  The good news is that for the first time in 15 years, builders are now able to purchase one comprehensive code book instead of two or more.  Click here to purchase the new 2015 Michigan Residential Code, including the 2015 IECC.

Blower Door Test – N1102.4.1.2

The Blower Door Test (BDT) is designed to find the source of air leakage in new homes (post-construction) or existing homes (prior to remodeling). The 2009 IECC offered contractors the choice between a visual test and the blower door test, allowing for flexibility.  However, the 2015 IECC requires a BDT on all residential new construction.  Furthermore, to avoid conflict of interest, builders and contractors are not permitted to perform their own BDT’s and must hire an independent 3rd-party to complete the testing, average cost running between $250 – $450 USD.

Electrical Code Arc-Breakers

No longer required for new residential construction builds

Basement Egress Windows

When finishing or remodeling basements to create additional living space, builders must install egress windows in any basement room that is designated as a bedroom.  Egress windows are no longer required when basement finishing or remodeling is limited to laundry rooms, family rooms, exercise rooms, etc.

  • NOTE: All counties and local municipalities interpret this code differently. It is always a good idea to contact your local Building Inspector to find out how codes are enforced and interpreted.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms – R315

The old 2009 code only required that carbon monoxide alarms be powered by a 9volt battery. The new 2015 code requires that all carbon monoxide alarms are now:

  • Inter-connected with the smoke alarms
  • Complete with a battery back-up
  • Wired to the buildings wiring system

The required locations for the carbon monoxide alarms remains unchanged from the 2009 IECC.

Decking – R507

In previous versions of the Michigan Residential Building Code there was only one sentence regarding deck construction.  The new 2015 code provides more than 4 pages of instruction on how to properly build a deck.

  • Joist and Beam Span Tables
    • Now compatible with wet-use environment and incised treated lumber
  • Sizing provisions for Posts
  • Foundation Details

These are just a handful of the topics covered in the 2015 code book. 

 

For the best new way to complete your education requirements,

visit www.licensetobuild.com or give the friendly staff a call

1-844-842-8272

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @buildingteacher to receive periodic updates on licensing information changes and deadlines, as well as exclusive discounts.

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Let’s Keep the Holidays Safe This Year

Christmas lights

It is that time of year again, Christmas is literally only a few short days away and the New Year is right around the corner. With all the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season it is easy to get caught up visiting with friends and family and forget about simple safety tips. According to ESFi statistics show that “incidents of residential fires and electrical accidents typically increase during the winter holiday season.” Electrical Codes and Standards Institute (ECSTI) wants you and your family to be safe this year and compiled a list of safety tips for you this Christmas.


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree – Water it!

According to a recent survey done by the NFPA, “Christmas trees were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven civilian fire deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage.” To avoid becoming one of those statists make sure you water your tree frequently, place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources. For those of you who prefer an artificial tree look for the label “Fire Resistant.”

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1b97jt_fAM 
KTARNews923

 

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) found that:

  • 69% of people do not turn off their indoor holiday lighted decorations before leaving their home.

     

  • 75% of people do not turn off their indoor Christmas lights before going to bed.

     

  • 60% of homes do not inspect their extension cords annually.

     

  • 68% of people reported that they keep their outdoor lights on when they leave their homes.


Mice are Stirring All Year Round.

Decorating the house is a big tradition in my family, our goal is to make our home become a cheerful gingerbread house for all to see. When bringing lights down from the attic or garage be sure to inspect the wires and cords for damage before using. Double check your decorations for rodent damage and cord decay before setting up. Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)Make sure when stringing lights as using extension cords you always use the ones marked for outdoor use.


ECSTI hopes that you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Remember to store all your holiday decorations in a cool dry place, always unplug decorations by using the gripping area, and be sure to separate outdoor decorations from indoor ones.

 

See you all in 2016!!

 

 

For the best new way to complete your education requirements, visit www.ecsti.com or give the friendly staff a call:

 1-800-727-7104

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @ElectricalCE to receive periodic updates on licensing information changed and deadlines, as well as exclusive discounts.

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Massachusetts CSL Continuing Education Renewal Guide

Massachusetts State Flag painted on brick wall

Do I need to complete continuing education to renew my Massachusetts license?

Any construction supervisor or CSL with a license expiration date of July 1, 2013 or after will need to comply with the continuing education requirements. A licensed construction supervisor must complete continuing education every 2 years in order to renew their license.

 

1) Unrestricted Construction Supervisors (identified as Construction Supervisor License on the license card) must attain at least 12 hours of approved continuing education requirements.

 

2) Restricted Construction Supervisors (identified as 1 and 2 Family License on the license card) must complete at least 10 hours of approved continuing education.

 

3) Specialty Construction Supervisors must complete at least 6 hours of approved continuing education. Specialty categories include:

  1. Masonry Roofing
  2. Windows
  3. Siding
  4. Demolition
  5. Solid Fuel Burning
  6. Insulation

The maximum number of hours required for any given licensee is 12 hours, regardless of how many categories appear on the license card. A person who is licensed in a specialty category, whether one, two or all six, needs only to complete 6 hours of approved continuing education credit.

 

Massachusetts CSL Approved Courses Listed Here

 

How do I renew my Massachusetts Construction Supervisor License (CSL)?

  • Complete the required continuing education credits. 

     

  • Request a renewal application from DPS by email. 
    See: Request for CSL Renewal Form (Check your spam or junk folders for a “Renewal Notice Enclosed” item from “EOPSS MA”) 

     

  • Allow up to 3 days to receive your renewal form.
     
  • Complete and mail in the renewal application.  Attach payment and CEU certificates.

     

 

MA Licenses must be renewed every two years, the renewal fee is $100.00.  There is a one year grace period to renew licenses after expiration.  For an additional fee of $100.00, licenses can be renewed up to two years after expiration.

Builders License Training Institute offers a variety of CSL approved continuing education courses for contractors to choose from.

For Unrestricted Construction Supervisors there are five 12-Hr course packages click here for a complete list (All of our packages include a “6-hour Massachusetts Required Competency”course)

 

Restricted Constructed Supervisors also have two 10-Hr course packages containing 4-Hrs. in continuing education and 6-Hrs in “Massachusetts Required Competency.”

 

For the fastest and most economical way to complete this education visit www.licensetobuild.com or give the friendly staff a call at: 1-800-727-7104

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @ConEdTraining to receive periodic updates on licensing information changes and deadlines, as well as exclusive discounts.

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Minnesota, All the Electrical CE You Need to Renew!

Electrical Courses, Minnesota, Online, Continuing Education, CEU, CEU's, CE

How many CE hours do I need to renew my Electrical License in Minnesota?

In the state of Minnesota all electricians are required to complete 16 hours of approved electrical continuing education. Master Electricians (Class A & B) renew on February 28 of odd numbered years, all other electrical license holders renew every 2 years from the license date. Minnesota requires that 12 of the 16 must be based on National Electrical Code (NEC) topics, the remaining 4 hours can be based on the NEC or Technical topics related to the electrical Installations and Equipment.

Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute (ECSTI) now offers a full 16 hour online course package that fulfills all required electrical continued education. Our interactive online education courses for electricians and electrical contractors, are instructed by the highly acclaimed author and instructor, James Stallcup. 

ECSTI’s MN 16-HR Course Package Includes:

  • Interactive coverage of changes to the National Electrical Code for the 2014 update.

     

  • Important Residential and Light commercial Equipment Installation topics.

     

  • Interactive video course focuses on simplifying some of the more complicated rules pertaining to the design, installation and selection of wiring methods and equipment.

James Stallcup will enhance your knowledge of electrical codes and standards with easy to understand illustrations and state of the art video discussions.

Stallcup’s and More!

ECSTI offers a full virtual library of Stallcups’ books and publications. We are continually updating our library with the best:

  • Electrical reference publications
  • Videos
  • Interactive tutorials 
  • Professional tips

As a member of Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute you will have access to:

  • The full interactive library
  • Access to all continued education courses for free.
  • Emailing pages directly from our online publications
  • Access to ECSTI’s electrical forum

 

Sign up your Company click here, to sign up as an Individual click here.

 

 

For the best new way to complete your education requirements, visitwww.ecsti.com or give the friendly staff a call

1-800-727-7104

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @ElectricalCE to receive periodic updates on licensing information changed and deadline, as well as exclusive discounts.

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Electrical Safety in the Workplace and Why It's Important

Electrician Testing Voltage

Electricity has long been recognized as one of the most serious workplace hazards on only construction sites. Construction workers and Electrical professionals are exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions. Every day the following construction concerns are the reason “OSHA Electrical Construction Regulations Simplified” by James Stallcup Sr. was developed and published. This book helps to promote worker safety and a safe work environment at all types of construction work sites.

OSHA, NEC, and The 29 CFR Part 1926

Experts in electrical safety have traditionally looked to the National Electrical Code (NEC) for help in the practical safeguarding of persons from these hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the important role of the NEC in defining basic requirements for safety in electrical installations by including the entire 1971 NEC by reference in Subpart K of 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1926 (Construction Safety and Health Standards).

 

The Stallcup’s have authored a series of publications to make these regulations easier to understand, by correlating these rules and regulations with other codes and Standards, such as the NEC, NFPA 70E, and the NESC. And by illustrating their application, the adherence by employers and workers is promoted. The OSHA Standards present necessary and constant considerations by an employer for their implementation.

Stallcup’s and More!

ECSTI offers a full virtual library of Stallcups’ books and publications. We are continually updating our library with the best:

  • Electrical reference publications
  • Videos
  • Interactive tutorials 
  • Professional tips

As a member of Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute you will have access to the full interactive library. Members will also have access to all continued education courses for free. To sign up your Company click here, to sign up as an Individual click here.

Did you know?

  • There are more than 7 million persons employed in construction, representing 5% of the labor force.

 

  • 21% of builders and construction workers are self-employed.

 

  • Of 636,000 construction companies, 90% employ fewer than 50 workers. Few of these construction companies have formal safety and health programs.

 

  • There are 1,000 construction workers killed on the job each year. That’s more than any other industry!

 

  • 15% of workers’ compensation costs are spent on construction injuries.

 

 

 

For the best new way to complete your education requirements, visit www.ecsti.com or give the friendly staff a call

1-800-727-7104

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @ElectricalCE to receive periodic updates on licensing information changed and deadline, as well as exclusive discounts.

 

 

 

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Electrical Safety in the Workplace and Why It’s Important

Electrician Testing Voltage

Electricity has long been recognized as one of the most serious workplace hazards on only construction sites. Construction workers and Electrical professionals are exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions. Every day the following construction concerns are the reason “OSHA Electrical Construction Regulations Simplified” by James Stallcup Sr. was developed and published. This book helps to promote worker safety and a safe work environment at all types of construction work sites.

OSHA, NEC, and The 29 CFR Part 1926

Experts in electrical safety have traditionally looked to the National Electrical Code (NEC) for help in the practical safeguarding of persons from these hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the important role of the NEC in defining basic requirements for safety in electrical installations by including the entire 1971 NEC by reference in Subpart K of 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1926 (Construction Safety and Health Standards).

 

The Stallcup’s have authored a series of publications to make these regulations easier to understand, by correlating these rules and regulations with other codes and Standards, such as the NEC, NFPA 70E, and the NESC. And by illustrating their application, the adherence by employers and workers is promoted. The OSHA Standards present necessary and constant considerations by an employer for their implementation.

Stallcup’s and More!

ECSTI offers a full virtual library of Stallcups’ books and publications. We are continually updating our library with the best:

  • Electrical reference publications
  • Videos
  • Interactive tutorials 
  • Professional tips

As a member of Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute you will have access to the full interactive library. Members will also have access to all continued education courses for free. To sign up your Company click here, to sign up as an Individual click here.

Did you know?

  • There are more than 7 million persons employed in construction, representing 5% of the labor force.

 

  • 21% of builders and construction workers are self-employed.

 

  • Of 636,000 construction companies, 90% employ fewer than 50 workers. Few of these construction companies have formal safety and health programs.

 

  • There are 1,000 construction workers killed on the job each year. That’s more than any other industry!

 

  • 15% of workers’ compensation costs are spent on construction injuries.

 

 

 

For the best new way to complete your education requirements, visit www.ecsti.com or give the friendly staff a call

1-800-727-7104

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @ElectricalCE to receive periodic updates on licensing information changed and deadline, as well as exclusive discounts.

 

 

 

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How to Become A Certified Lead Paint Renovator in Michigan

Ecologist an opposes of environmental pollution

Did you know…

If you are working on a pre-1978 home or child occupied facility and have NOT been certified as a Lead Paint Renovator, you could be fined up to $37,500.00. While the EPA doesn’t always hit you for this full amount, this is being enforced and they are fining contractors. To avoid exposing children to the harmful effects of lead poisoning and lead dust, plus to avoid a hefty fine, you must become a Certified LEAD Renovator.

To become a LEAD Certified Renovator you must:

  • Attend an 8-hour EPA approved Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Training Course.

     

  • Participate in all Hands-on sections during the course.

     

  • Pass the 30 question test at the end of the course.  

     

  • Submit a $300.00 fee to the EPA along with Certificate of completion
    • If you own your own business you will send in your Firm Certification Fee in order to certify your Firm as the qualifying Individual. 

 

How to Renew my Lead Paint Renovator Certification

Your certification is good for 5 years. Before the 5 year cycle is up, you will be required to complete a 4-Hour Lead Paint RRP Refresher course. Once the course is completed contractors will take a 20 question exam.  A copy of your original Certification must be provided to the instructor in order to receive your renewal certification. Your Firm Certification including the FEE can then be submitted to the EPA.

The 8-HR Initial and 4-HR Refresher courses both meet the 3 required approval levels:

  1. Fulfills the 4-Hour Federal Requirement for the Certified Renovator Refresher course.

  2. Fulfills 4 hours of Continued Competency for the Michigan Residential Builders and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors Licensees.
    • This applies for those who need 21-HR of CE. This does not fulfill the 3-HR Code, Law, Safety requirements. 

  3. Fulfills 4 hours of Continued Education for the Michigan Real Estate Licensees.

 

The Home Builders Association of Grand Traverse Area (HBAGTA) will be offering a certification course on December 18, 2015 in Traverse City, MI. This course will be taught by BLTI instructors. To sign up for this course click here

 

 

Complete your Continuing Education Now!

For the fastest and most economical way to complete this education visit www.licensetobuild.com or give the friendly staff a call at: 1-800-727-7104

Subscribe to our Blog and Follow us on Twitter @ConEdTraining to receive periodic updates on licensing information changes and deadlines, as well as exclusive discounts.