Electricity is all around us. Modern life wouldn’t be possible without it.
Electricity comes with risks, but fortunately, we already have a safety net.
The Electrical Safety Cycle, built from Codes and Standards is the first line of defense against potential electrical hazards.
With new technology and new electrical demands, codes and standards need to evolve to meet safety needs.
The National Electrical Code serves as the foundation of the Electrical Safety Cycle.
Identifying the Problem:
With new technology and safety data being released, how does the NEC adapt?
Changes to the code start with data.
Government agencies and testing laboratories provide statistics, data and research to identify emerging safety issues.
Identifying the Solution:
The electrical industry utilizes the data and trends to drive innovation through research and development.
New technology is created to mitigate hazards not addressed in previous editions of the NEC.
This technology is then tested by 3rd party Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories to ensure safe everyday use and compliance to safety standards.
Implementing the Code:
With certification from the testing laboratories, new technology is presented to the public and technical committees for consideration in new versions of the NEC.
Cost analysis is provided for implementing new technologies and economic impact in local communities.
New code requirements are revised by NFPA’s committee on the NEC
Public, expert, and consumer feedback is taken and reviewed.
18 code-making panels review the public input and create the first draft of code revisions.
It is important to note that most changes to the NEC are installation safety standards.
The code is now complete and is presented to states for adoption.
Enforcing the Code:
The NEC is updated every three years, but adoption of the code varies state by state.
Electrical contractors use the NEC to ensure products are installed safely in homes and businesses.
Code enforcement inspections verify that installation and construction meet code requirements by issuing permits and ensuring compliance. Code enforcement ensures that the minimum standard in electrical safety is being applied to keep occupants safe.
The Electrical Safety Cycle provides a holistic approach to electrical safety.
As you can see, this three-year process involves countless suggestions that drive the changes that keep us safe from unnecessary electrical fires, injuries, and deaths.
States with older versions of safety codes endanger their communities and increase the likelihood of workplace deaths and home fires.
The National Electrical Code saves lives. It’s crucial that we all adopt these minimum standards of electrical safety.