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Old 2008-05-05, 10:32 PM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Locations for lighting fixtures is covered in the Ontario Building Code. There is no requirement for lighting in a closet. Here are the rooms that require lighting: kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, utility rooms, laundry rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, water closet rooms, vestibules and hallways. Lighting is also required at stairways, at each entrance to the home, and basements.

There is one possible argument: lighting is required in storage rooms. So if you argue the the closet is really a storage room for linen, then perhaps you can win. I view a "closet" as a storage space that you are not normally expected to walk into (e.g. a linen closet; a clothes closet), and a "room" as a place you can physically enter [and is designed for you to physically enter] and after you enter it, you can close and latch the door behind you. If it is not a "room" then there would be no need for a doorknob on the inside. To support this, I often see lighting in many kitchen food pantries if it is a space there you can physically enter and close the door behind you. One other avenue is to follow up with the City of Ottawa, as they have jurisdiction for the OBC. I am giving you my opinion, but the City has the power to rule.

The electrical code does not prescribe lighting fixture locations; it covers methods for wiring and installation.
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Phil Acker, P.Eng, RHI
Acker Home Inspection Inc.

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