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During my recent NFPA Live event I discussed some highlights from the 2020 NEC First Draft Meeting in January. Immediately following this event, I received this question from an NFPA member. I’m now sharing my answer with you and I hope you find it valuable.
You can also find additional information about the 2020 NEC first draft meeting in my latest In Compliance column in NFPA Journal.
Derek Vigstol is an Electrical Technical Lead at NFPA. NFPA Live is an interactive video series in which members of NFPA staff address some of the most frequent topics they receive through the Member's Only Technical Question service. If you are currently an NFPA Member you can view the entire video by following this link. If you're not currently a member, join today!


Shutting off the electric supply to a building in the event of a fire or other emergency has been a problem that has plagued firefighters for many years. As they attempt to put out a fire and rescue occupants, electrical systems pose significant line-of-duty hazards. In many instances, when a house is fully involved and the fire does not present a rescue situation, fire departments will rely on the electric utility to arrive and shut off the power supply to the building, a delay that often results in a total loss. Firefighters have argued that they could work safer and be more effective if they could simply turn off a building’s electric supply themselves.

To address this issue, electrical experts put the subject on the table at the recent first draft meeting of the 2020 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code, along with other topics that point to evolving technology and building practices that can help improve safety.

Learn more about this issue in my recent In Compliance column in the March/April 2018 issue of NFPA Journal where I discuss some of these key topics as well as a handful of proposed revisions such as Article 230 of the NEC, in greater detail. 

If you've played the NEC Challenge App, then you have answered the questions, competed against electrical code fanatics from around the country and improved your NEC knowledge. But do you have what it takes to come up with the actual questions for the Challenge? If so, NFPA has a way for you to join in its creation. If you can send an email; you can be participate! NEC Challenge


How? It's easy. Just submit your questions to Questions should be submitted in  a word document attached to the email, and they must meet the following criteria for consideration:

  • Multiple choice with four (4) options
  • Word document must contain the question, choices, and the correct answer
  • Only one correct answer choice (no "pick all that apply")
  • Answer should include a brief explanation (2-3 sentences)
  • General knowledge categories are best
  • Questions that involve calculations are not a good idea


Keep in mind that selected questions will be entered in the NEC Challenge App game and contestants only have a limited time to answer. Also, this is not the place to submit questions for NFPA technical experts; these questions are best handled by calling 1-800-344-3555 and submitting your question through NFPA's technical question service. Please note that the technical question service is available to NFPA members and AHJs. 


So what are you waiting for? Get your questions in today and be part of the NEC Challenge!

A few years back, if you had described an emerging technology that enabled lighting to sense varying conditions within a building and seamlessly integrate with the building automation system to return everything to the optimal use of energy and the optimal conditions for occupants, I would have said, “You’re crazy!”
But today, we know this technology isn’t merely emerging—it’s in full force, and it’s evolving daily in the form of Power over Ethernet, or PoE. As those of us in the electrical industry have come to learn, PoE technology is leaving the confines of the communication world and expanding into the electrical industry as electrical equipment has become much more energy efficient. 
In my latest “In Compliance” column, I talk about how the latest edition of the NEC (2017) addresses two key fire hazards associated with PoE equipment:
  • The threat of the electrical equipment starting a fire
  • The threat the electrical equipment poses during a fire
And it doesn’t stop here. There’s much more we need to learn about PoE as it relates to electrical equipment installations. Answering questions about electrical shock hazards, fire ignition issues, flame spread characteristics, what the addition to a building’s fuel load might look like, and what products of combustion might be added, will help us effectively protect the world from potential hazards, and be done in a way that allows this technology to grow.
Read the latest In Compliance column for insights into this growing technology and the related NEC requirements. 

In my recent NFPA Live Chad Duffy — NFPA's Senior Fire Protection Specialist — and I discussed fire pump power supply requirements and the intersection of NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection
and the NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®.


During the live event we received this follow-up questions from a member. I'm now sharing it with you. I hope you find some value in it.

NFPA Live is an interactive video series in which members of NFPA staff address some of the most frequent topics they receive through the Member's Only Technical Question service. If you are currently an NFPA Member you can view the entire video by following this link. If you're not currently a member, join today!


NFPA 70E® Standard for Electrical Safety In The Workplace® continues to evolve and shape the way employers and employees approach electrical safety. Recent revisions place added emphasis on performing an arc-flash risk assessment as a critical part of every task being performed. Available in the newly released 2018 edition of 70E, Table 130.5(C) examines the Likelihood of Occurrence of an Arc-Flash can be used as a better tool in keeping workers safe.


Last week I covered this topic during my NFPA Live, an exclusive for NFPA Members. During the live event I got this follow-up question. I'm now sharing it with you. I hope you find some value in it.
NFPA Live is an interactive video series in which members of NFPA staff address some of the most frequent topics they receive through the Member's Only Technical Question service. If you are currently an NFPA Member you can view the entire video by following this link. If you're not currently a member, join today!

As an electrical industry professional, following the NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) protects communities - people and property - from electrical hazards, and helps build a safer world. NFPA offers a convenient way to access the 2017 NEC when you’re out in the field.

The 2017 NEC includes hundreds of updates along with five brand new articles. The latest edition of the code paves the way for safer electrical installations. The 2017 NEC app, available for both Apple and Android devices, not only gives you the flexibility and ease you want on the job, it has a number of new features that you, our partners in electrical safety, have asked for.

The features include:

  • A robust search capability that allows you to search keywords or NEC article, and highlights your results
  • The ability to browse through the Table of Contents and easily access a chapter and subchapters
  • Scrolling capabilities that let you move easily from one section to another
  • Internal links between sections
  • The ability to zoom in for easy viewing of tables and figures



And that’s not all. You also asked us to identify changes from the 2014 NEC.  The 2017 NEC app also shows you:

  • Code changes indicated with gray shading
  • New sections, tables and figures highlighted with a “bold, italic “N” in a gray box to the left of new material
  • An “N” next to the title of an entirely new article
  • Where text has been deleted (indicated by a bullet (•) between the paragraphs that remain)



But don’t take our word for it. An NEC app user recently told us, “The iOS version is the handiest form to access the National Electrical Code when a print copy is not at-hand … what with its very robust search features. It's the version I use the most.”

Get the 2017 NEC app today by linking to the iOS version for Apple products or Google Play for Android, and experience for yourself all of the positive results on your next job assignment.

Electrical professionals, you’re invited to put your NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) knowledge to the test with NFPA’s new NEC Challenge app!


The NEC Challenge App is compatible with any Apple or Android product and is available on Google Play, as well. The best thing about it? The app is free! Want to take it up a notch? For only $4.99, you can access additional questions and play against your colleagues for the ultimate challenge.

What’s more, this interactive game gives you the chance to study the NEC and it’s a great way to prove your superior code knowledge and compete against your peers in a really fun way. The Challenge allows you to earn points, reach new levels and move up the NEC Challenge leaderboard all from the keypad of your phone.

Based on the 2014 NEC, you’ll find in the app:


  •       An assortment of questions that includes multiple choice and “true/false” formats selected from all categories of the code
  •      The ability to participate as a single player
  •       An opportunity to compete in head-to-head challenges
  •       An update on your status on the Leaderboard



So what are you waiting for? Download the NEC Challenge app today, put your best foot forward and demonstrate your ultimate NEC knowledge!


Need more information about the NEC? You can find it all at

NEC Online from NFPA

Get your free 2-day trial of NEC Online for instant access to updates in NFPA’s National Electrical Code!


As a professional in the electrical industry, you don’t have to look much further than code requirements to know how dynamic this industry is. In fact, the three most recent editions of NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) has seen more than 10 new articles and hundreds of changes that reflect emerging technologies and advancements in electrical and fire safety.


That’s why as the 2017 NEC edition rolls out this fall, NFPA has developed a new resource, NEC Online, to provide electrical professionals a focused view of what's changed over nearly a decade of important NEC advancements. Why is this important? For one, looking back at previous editions allows you to see the evolution of the code. But even more importantly, as you know, not all states or jurisdictions have adopted the newest code edition.


For instance, if you are a contractor working in multiple states, you’ll need to have access to previous codes; the one that particular state has adopted. NEC Online gives you that flexibility and the assurance that you have what you need to get the project done right, and to code.


So whether you work in the office or onsite, on residential, commercial, industrial design installations or inspection projects, NEC Online can help make your job easier. Take a look at some of the other benefits:


  • Navigate and search instantly the 2017, 2014, and 2011 editions of NFPA 70: NEC
  • Identify code changes from edition to edition. You'll know what's new, deleted, or revised!
  • Understand key code revisions by using the change summaries provided by NFPA experts
  • View from any device, including smartphones and online tablets, or download PDFs for offline viewing
  • Share important NEC content with colleagues via email
  • Print or bookmark NEC sections for quick reference down the road


Sign up for your free NEC Online 2-day trial now by visiting NFPA’s website.

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