Is an attic required to have a light by the building code?

Monday, June 18, 2018

The NEC (National Electrical Code) specifies at 210.70(A)(3) that any “attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements” have at least one lighting outlet, but only “where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing.” We suppose it is open to interpretation by the local building inspector whether a particular attic is, or could be, used for storage. But most attics have a light located inside at least one of the attic access openings. 

    The light has to contain a switch or be controlled by a wall switch, and at least one switch must be at the usual point of entry to the space. If the lighting is for equipment that requires servicing, such as an air handler or water heater, it should be located at or near the equipment. Also, any heating or air conditioning equipment in an attic must have a receptacle outlet located nearby for service use, according to NEC 210.63.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about ATTICS:

What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements? 

What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

What is the most common type of roof-to-wall attachment?

Is an attic required to have a light by the building code?  

What are the building code requirements for installing an appliance (furnace, air handler, water heater) in the attic?

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

What are the common problems with attic insulation? 

How do I safely clean up rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) urine or droppings the attic?

Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?

What is the building code requirement for an attic access hatch, scuttle, or door?

Why is vermiculite attic insulation a problem for both buyers and sellers of a home? 

What are the code requirements for NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable or Romex®) in an attic? 

What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?

Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?

How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic? 

• When was a fire separation in the attic first required between sides of a duplex? 

   Visit our ELECTRICAL and ROOF AND ATTIC pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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