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NFPA Revises National Electrical Code
Jurisdictions can now offer more comprehensive protection against electrical fires by adopting the 2008 edition of NFPA 70T, National Electrical Code (NEC). Previous editions of the NEC are widely adopted throughout the United States and commonly accepted as the definitive reference for electrical safety across the world.
The latest edition, the 51st, builds on the NEC's safety benchmark established by previous editions and requires the best available technology to protect against electrical fire and shock hazards, according to NFPA.
The 2008 NEC expands requirements covering the use of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), important next-generation electrical safety devices that not only provide conventional functions, but also prevent electrical fires by detecting potential dangerous electrical arcs and shutting off the power to that circuit. Many fire safety officials in the U.S. endorse AFCIs as a significant step forward in electrical fire safety.
The NEC is developed through NFPA's consensus process, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Six thousand volunteers, representing 200 NFPA technical committees are responsible for developing and updating more than 300 codes and standards, including the NEC.
Since 1911, NFPA has been the developer of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Setting the standard for safe electrical installations, NFPA 70T, National Electrical Code is the most widely used code in the U.S. and the world. It is adopted in practically all U.S. states, many territories, and several countries. The 2008 NEC is the 51st edition of the code.
The latest edition of the NEC also makes a change to protect children from serious burns and death. Each year 2,400 children insert objects into electrical receptacles with tragic results. The 2008 NEC mandates in new homes and renovations the use of tamper-resistant receptacles, which require the insertion of both prongs of a plug into a receptacle to establish an electrical circuit.