(a) A county may create an inspection department, consisting of one or more inspectors who may be given the titles of building inspector, electrical inspector, plumbing inspector, housing inspector, zoning inspector, heating and air-conditioning inspector, fire prevention inspector, deputy or assistant inspector, or any other title that is generally descriptive of the duties assigned. The department may be headed by a superintendent or director of inspections.
(a1) Every county shall perform the duties and responsibilities set forth in G.S. 153A-352 either by:
(1) Creating its own inspection department;
(2) Creating a joint inspection department in cooperation with one or more other units of local government, pursuant to G.S. 153A-353 or Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A; or,
(3) Contracting with another unit of local government for the provision of inspection services pursuant to Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A.
Such action shall be taken no later than the applicable date in the schedule below, according to the county's population as published in the 1970 United States Census:
Counties over 75,000 population - July 1, 1979
Counties between 50,001 and 75,000 - July 1, 1981
Counties between 25,001 and 50,000 - July 1, 1983
Counties 25,000 and under - July 1, 1985.
In the event that any county shall fail to provide inspection services by the date specified above or shall cease to provide such services at any time thereafter, the Commissioner of Insurance shall arrange for the provision of such services, either through personnel employed by his Department or through an arrangement with other units of government. In either event, the Commissioner shall have and may exercise within the county's jurisdiction all powers made available to the board of county commissioners with respect to building inspection under Part 4 of Article 18 of this Chapter and Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A. Whenever the Commissioner has intervened in this manner, the county may assume provision of inspection services only after giving the Commissioner two years' written notice of its intention to do so; provided, however, that the Commissioner may waive this requirement or permit assumption at an earlier date if he finds that such earlier assumption will not unduly interfere with arrangements he has made for the provision of those services.
(b) No person may perform electrical inspections pursuant to this Part unless he has been certified as qualified by the Commissioner of Insurance. To be certified a person must pass a written examination based on the electrical regulations included in the latest edition of the State Building Code as filed with the Secretary of State. The examination shall be under the supervision of and conducted according to rules and regulations prescribed by the Chief State Electrical Inspector or Engineer of the State Department of Insurance and the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. It shall be held quarterly, in Raleigh or any other place designated by the Chief State Electrical Inspector or Engineer.
The rules and regulations may provide for the certification of class I, class II, and class III inspectors, according to the results of the examination. The examination shall be based on the type and character of electrical installations being made in the territory in which the applicant wishes to serve as an electrical inspector. A class I inspector may serve anywhere in the State, but class II and class III inspectors shall be limited to service in the territory for which they have qualified.
The Commissioner of Insurance shall issue a certificate to each person who passes the examination, approving the person for service in a designated territory. To remain valid, a certificate must be renewed each January by payment of an annual renewal fee of one dollar ($1.00). The examination fee shall be five dollars ($5.00).
If the person appointed by a county as electrical inspector fails to pass the examination, the county shall continue to make appointments until an appointee has passed the examination. For the interim the Commissioner of Insurance may authorize the county to use a temporary inspector.
The provisions of this subsection shall become void and ineffective on such date as the North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board certifies to the Secretary of State that it has placed in effect a certification system for electrical inspectors pursuant to its authority granted by Article 9C of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes. (1937, c. 57; 1941, c. 105; 1947, c. 719; 1951, c. 651; 1953, c. 984; 1955, cc. 144, 942, 1171; 1957, cc. 415, 456, 1286, 1294; 1959, cc. 399, 940, 1031; 1961, cc. 763, 884, 1036; 1963, cc. 639, 868; 1965, cc. 243, 371, 453, 494, 846; 1967, cc. 45, 73, 113; c. 495, ss. 1, 3; 1969, cc. 675, 918; c. 1003, s. 7; c. 1010, s. 4; c. 1064, ss. 1, 4, 5; c. 1066, s. 1; 1973, c. 822, s. 1; 1977, c. 531, ss. 2, 3; 1991, c. 720, s. 77.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014