National Electrical Code

October 30, 2008

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff supports activities involving the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC (the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 70) is a widely-adopted model code for the installation of electrical components and systems. Its purpose is to safeguard persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity (NEC 90.1(A)). Improving the safety of electrical installations through participation in the NEC revision process is one of the strategies CPSC staff employs to reduce potential electrical fire and shock hazards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff supports activities involving the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC (the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 70) is a widely-adopted model code for the installation of electrical components and systems. Its purpose is to safeguard persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity (NEC 90.1(A)). Improving the safety of electrical installations through participation in the NEC revision process is one of the strategies CPSC staff employs to reduce potential electrical fire and shock hazards.

 

During the period 1999-2003, there was an estimated annual average of more than 28,000 fires attributed to home electrical distribution systems. Electrocutions associated with consumer products have decreased from 210 in 1993 to 160 in 2003.

 

In addition to developing proposals for revision of the NEC, CPSC staff members serve as non-voting representatives on two of the 19 code-making panels (CMPs) that are responsible for approving or rejecting proposals to revise the Code. A CPSC representative is on CMP 2, which covers Articles 210 (Branch Circuits), 215 (Feeders), 220 (Branch-Circuit, Feeder, and Service Calculations), and Annex D, Examples 1 through 6. A CPSC representative is on CMP 17, which includes, among others, Articles 422 (Appliances), 424 (Fixed Electric Space-Heating Equipment), 426 (Fixed Outdoor Electric Deicing and Snow-Melting Equipment), and 680 (Swimming Pools, Fountains, and Similar Installations).

 

Additional Information

 

Incident Data:

- 1999-2003 Residential Fire Loss Estimates

- 2003 Electrocutions Associated with Consumer Products

 

 

Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:

- Proposals for the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code: NFPA 70-2011, 550.25 and NFPA 70-2011, 550.13(B)

- Letter to Code Making Authorities Considering the Adoption of the 2008 National Electrical Code, May 29 2008

- Proposals for 2008 Edition of the National Electrical Code –

1 - Revise 210.12 (A), Addition of AFCI acronym.

2 - Revise 210-12 (B), AFCIs in Dwelling Unit Bedrooms

3 - Revise 210-12 (B), Editorial change of verb tense

4 - Revise 210.12 (B), Smoke Alarms protected by AFCI Branch Circuits

5 - Revise 210.8 (C), 120/240-volt Boat Hoists in Dwelling Unit Branch Circuits

- Correspondence to National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) June 28, 2002. Re: CPSC staff draft proposals for GFCI protection of vending machines

- Correspondence to National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) September 20, 2002. Re: Response to NAMA regarding potential voluntary standard requirements for electrocution protection of vending machines

- Proposals for 2005 Edition of the National Electrical Code

1 - October 22, 2002 Memorandum regarding CPSC staff proposals for new AFCI requirements in the NEC

2 - New 210.12, Lighting and Appliance Branch Circuits in Dwelling Units

3 - New 230.XX, Replacement of Service Equipment at Dwelling Units

4 - New Article 100, Part 1, Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter, Branch/Feeder Type

5 - Revise 210.12, Dwelling Unit Bedrooms

- Proposals for 2002 Edition of the National Electrical Code

1 - Revise 210-8(3), Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel, Dwelling Units, Outdoors

2 - New 210.12(C), Lighting and Appliance Branch Circuits in Dwelling Units

3 - New 230.XX in Part E, Replacement of Service Equipment at Dwelling Units

4 - Revise 210-23(A), Permissible Loads, 15- and 20-Ampere Branch Circuits (proposal made by Task Group in which CPSC staff participated)

- Comments made to Panel Actions on Proposals for 1999 Edition of the National Electrical Code

1 - Revise 422 Part F, CPSC staff comment on Proposal No. 20-52

2 - 210-12 (New), CPSC staff comment on Proposal No. 2-129

 

 

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:

- CPSC Staff Report: Considerations for Installation of Smoke Alarms on Residential Branch Circuits - (October, 2005)

- CPSC Staff Forum on AFCIs: Getting the Word Out (September 23, 2003)

- Economic Considerations - AFCI Replacements (March 10, 2003)

- Economic Considerations - GFCIs (March 10, 2003)

- Engineering Staff Position Paper on GFCIs (April 20, 2001)

 

 

National Fire Protection Association

- For further information concerning the National Electrical Code, please contact Mark Earley at mwearley@nfpa.org

 

 

Contact CPSC

- For additional information or to comment, please contact cpsc-os@cpsc.gov

- Join a voluntary standards Email Subscription List