Mark C. Ode

Fire/Life Safety Columnist and Code Contributor

Mark C. Ode is a lead engineering associate for Energy & Power Technologies at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and can be reached at 919.949.2576 and

Articles by Mark C. Ode

August 2016
Historically, the National Electrical Code (NEC) has required much of the electrical equipment, wiring methods and other electrical parts used in the electrical industry to be listed. The key behind listing requirements is located in Section 110.3(A), which states, in judging equipment, considerations shall be evaluated for suitability for installations and use in conformity with NEC provisions. READ MORE
July 2016
In March, I attended a Central Arizona Chapter International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) meeting. A discussion ensued about the growing number of improperly installed and uncertified light-emitting diode (LED) retrofit lighting kits. In fact, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) just issued a public notice to warn of these dangers. The notice can be found in the newsroom at
June 2016
A caller recently asked if all 125-volt (V), 15- and 20-ampere (A) receptacles in a commercial kitchen were required to be ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected, even where part of a listed assembly. I answered with an absolute yes; I said there are no exceptions that permit unprotected receptacles. READ MORE
May 2016
my april 2015 column, “moving forward,” provided an introduction to a number of public inputs for the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC). These inputs were submitted to Code-making panel (CMP) 3, and they addressed power over Ethernet (PoE) cables. READ MORE
April 2016
As Section 110.2 States, The National Electrical Code (NEC) provides installation requirements for electrical conductors and equipment that are either required or permitted to be installed. However, these conductors and equipment are only acceptable if the installation is approved. NEC Article 100 defines “approved” as being acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction. READ MORE
  • Dry-type cast-resin transformer
March 2016
There are many types of transformers with just as many different uses. Transformers can be installed within electrical equipment, as separate individual transformers, as polyphase banks of two or more single-phase transformers operating as one unit, as exposed coils, or completely enclosed with or without ventilating openings. READ MORE
February 2016
Transfer switches are the unsung and often neglected heroes of emergency, legally required standby and optional standby systems. The much larger generators and other alternate-power sources often overshadow these switches, but ultimately, these devices sense normal power loss and activate the generator or alternate power source to critical loads.
January 2016
Storage batteries are used for many different types of electrical equipment throughout the National Electrical Code (NEC). The phrase “storage batteries” occurs in 13 locations in the NEC index. In addition, Article 480 is devoted to the installation requirements for storage batteries.
December 2015
The National Electrical Code (NEC) mentions cathodic protection only once; however, dealing with cathodic action and protection can be difficult to diagnose and time-consuming to fix. The 1999 NEC first introduced cathodic protection in 250.6, generally dealing with objectionable current, and specifically in 250.6(E) as isolation of objectionable direct current (DC) ground currents. READ MORE