The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) published NEMA GD 4-2020 COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance for Electrical Equipment. Managing the novel coronavirus requires proper cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, so members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have developed specific guidance to answer common questions for how to maintain cleanliness while preserving the functionality and integrity of electrical equipment. 

“The Electrical Safety Foundation International ( is a good source for general safety information,” says Kevin J. Cosgriff, President and CEO of NEMA. “Beyond that, all cleaning and disinfecting steps must bear in mind the need to protect electrical equipment from inappropriate cleaning and disinfecting products and methods. In most cases, the original equipment manufacturer is the best source of authoritative information regarding products made by them.”

“Disinfectant solutions and solvents can harm electrical equipment and components, causing severe damage that can result in outages and potential physical injuries,” adds Steve Sacco, vice president of safety and environment at Schneider Electric. “We specifically caution against the use of fogging and spraying disinfectant solutions on and around electrical equipment because this can create invasive electrical hazards.

“When cleaning and disinfecting electrical equipment and components, we recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions,” Sacco says. “If you have a specific question, contact the electrical manufacturer for guidance. While performing routine maintenance or operating the equipment, we recommend taking all possible steps to avoid contamination by following CDC recommendations on thorough hand washing and the use of personal protective equipment, including face coverings.”

NEMA GD 4-2020 is available as an electronic download at no cost on the NEMA website.