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The Facts About the National Electrical Code

This May is National Electrical Safety Month (NESM), an annual campaign established to encourage electrical safety in the home, school and workplace. Universal Home Experts are big proponents of electrical safety and are joining in the crusade to ensure the protection of our Houston neighbors. The Electrical Safety Foundation (ESFI), one of the major sponsors of NESM, is a comprehensive source for electrical safety. Every year they release numerous resources for communities, schools and organizations to use and distribute. One of their topics this year is the newest version of the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Updated every three years and adopted by all 50 states, the NEC is the standard for safe electrical practices. It acts as a guide for proper electrical installation, inspection and use to “protect people and property from avoidable electrical hazards.” Universal electricians stay on top of all the code revisions, which have been updated again this year. They inform all decisions on electrical repairs and installations – and electrical requirements for new builds and renovations. If you are a home or business owner, it is important to understand how the code works and how it impacts all aspects of an electrical system.

Facts About the NEC:

  • The National Electrical Code was first established in 1897 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
  • It is part of the National Fire Codes series published by the NFPA.
  • It is developed by the NFPA’s Committee on the NEC which features 19 code-making panels and a technical correlating committee.
  • The Code is not federal law, but used in an effort to standardize the enforcement of safe electrical practices.
  • The NEC can be amended and or altered to adhere to regional regulations.
  • Even though the NEC can be altered to fit regional regulations, it is the least amended model code.
  • Since 1974 there have been 15 code revisions.
  • The NEC is updated every three years to ensure it reflects the latest updates in safety technology.
  • It is available as a bound book or electronically and is approximately 100 pages. It can be acquired here.
  • Its main purpose is to create a universal electrical safety standard to keep new buildings and renovations free from electrical hazards.
  • If a home was built before 1974, the electrical system may not be up to code.
  • The NEC applies directly to new construction and any home or building renovations.
  • The Code updates only go into effect after they are adopted by state or local jurisdiction.
  • Though there are specific differences between the two, the NEC is very similar to the Canadian Electrical Code.

Download the complete ESFI National Electrical Safety Illustrated 2017.

Is your electrical system up to code? If it was built before 1974, it might need to be updated. Additionally, if your home hasn’t had an electrical inspection in the last five years, it should be assessed by a professional electrician. Call Universal Home Experts at (713) 364-0226 to schedule an electrical safety inspection today!