The Inspection Bureau, Inc.
"Electrical Safety Since 1888"
What Is The Inspection Bureau?
The Inspection Bureau, Inc. ("IBI") performs all of the electrical inspections and plan review for the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. IBI also serves 51 municipalities within Hamilton County and and Northern Kentucky provides "back-up" inspection service for the Cities of Middletown and Wilmington.
IBI inspects a wide variety of facilities, including housing, apartments, office buildings, high-rises, shopping centers, sports facilities, large manufacturing facilities, office towers and all other installations. IBI conducted a total of 22,817 such inspections in 2012. The breakdown of that total is as follows: 7995 for the City of Cincinnati; 8251 for Hamilton County; and 6571 for miscellaneous municipalities and townships.
In addition, IBI conducted 772 plan reviews for the City of Cincinnati, 499 for Hamilton County, and 497 for miscellaneous municipalities and townships.
IBI does its work as if it were a department of the municipality but, in fact, IBI is a totally separate, independent corporation. Thus, electrical inspections are effectively "outsourced" to IBI.
This outsourcing originally came about - and continues in force today - for two very good reasons:
Today, in addition to electrical inspections, all plans for
electrical installations (except Northern Kentucky) must come to IBI for review. IBI's certified plans
examiners review those plans, and if they are not satisfied that the
plans conform to the Code requirements, they notify the contractors or the
engineers for the contractors, who make the required amendments or changes. Local Utilities will not energize electric services until IBI has inspected the installation for code compliance.
The Inspection Bureau: Past and Present
IBI began its operation in Columbus, Ohio in 1888 under the name of “Underwriting Association” with several branch offices located throughout the state. In 1894, the name was changed to “The Ohio Inspection Bureau” in Columbus but the Cincinnati office retained the name “Underwriting Association” until 1917. The Ohio Inspection Bureau was a private organization supported by the fire insurance companies. Its duties consisted of scientific fire insurance ratemaking, the preparation of reports and information for the use of the insurance companies and fire-prevention service work for the insuring public. At its peak the bureau employed 200 people maintaining a main office in Columbus, Ohio and 10 branch offices throughout the state. It published thousands of reports and insurance rates. The published rates in reality were prices for $100 of insurance for one year for various types of buildings in any given town or city.
For almost 60 years the Ohio Inspection Bureau was the electrical inspection authority for the City of Cincinnati and adjacent areas while also doing business as an insurance rating organization.
In 1947, a federal directive required insurance rating departments to confine their work to insurance interests only. The Ohio Inspection Bureau changed its name to Inspection Bureau, Inc. and reorganized its operations to focus entirely on electrical inspections for the City of Cincinnati and surrounding areas. This was accomplished through the combined efforts of the City, the electrical contractors, and Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company (Duke Energy). Presently, IBI is authorized by the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Building Commissioners as the area’s electrical inspection authority.
1.) A word from a former chief...“In 1888 our first office was opened in Cincinnati, under the name of Underwriters Association. The name changed to Ohio Inspection Bureau in Columbus in 1894. However, we continued under the old name until 1917, when our Cincinnati office changed to Ohio Inspection Bureau.
To start with, electrical installations were examined by the general inspection department.
Our electrical department was placed in service in the year 1888, under the supervision of Luke Lilley, passed on to his brother in 1890, next Wm. Venable in 1897, and then Wm. B. Hubbell 1901, and he retained position until he passed away in February 1928. After his death Mr. Schutte was placed in charge, and held position until January 1933 when Howard A. Jaberg was placed in charge.
In the beginning all recommendations pertaining to electrical inspections were made by Underwriters Association and the National Fire Protection Association.
Let’s go back to the first electrical code; this infant was born May 12, 1882 and this code consisted of 412 words, including the title, an explanation of its purpose, and the installation rules for one type of wiring method.”
Howard A. Jaberg
Inspection Bureau, Inc.
May 13, 1960
Chief Electrical Inspectors of IBI
Mr. Lilley (Luke’s brother)
William B. Hubbell
Howard A. Jaberg
Allen (Scotty) Hamilton
C. W. Brooks
* Also served as President during their term as Chief Electrical Inspector
** Served as President from 1979 until 1994. Gerald Collins was President 1976-1979