Outlet Covers in Public Areas

By Bruno Caligara

Local Law 39 of 2015 requires standard 125 Volt 15-20 ampere electrical outlets in the public areas such as halls, corridors, lobbies of residential buildings with three or more units. Outlets within these facilities must be protected by means of caps, covers or other safety devices. The electrical outlets used exclusively for mechanical equipment or storage rooms are exempt from this requirement.

For installed outlets that are listed as ‘tamper resistant’ in accordance with the New York City Electrical Code, covers or caps are not required. These tamper resistant outlets must be readily identifiable, and should have spring loaded inserts within the slots of the receptacle which must be depressed simultaneously for use when inserting a two or three pronged electrical appliance plug.

If not installed correctly, the BEC or DOB will issue Class A violation for failure to comply with this requirement.  To correct the violation, completing the installation of a cap, cover, safety device or replacing the outlet itself with Code compliant tamper resistant electrical outlet will be required.