Mark C. Ode

Fire/Life Safety Columnist and Code Contributor

Mark C. Ode is a staff engineering associate at Underwriters Laboratories Inc., based in Peoria, Ariz. He can be reached at 919.949.2576 and

Articles by Mark C. Ode

March 2005
Arc-fault circuit-interrupter(AFCI) protection requirements were first submitted to the National Electrical Code (NEC) process for the 1996 NEC but were not accepted until the 1999 NEC. These requirements as detailed in Section 210.12 were expanded for the 2002 NEC and have been changed again for the 2005 NEC. READ MORE
February 2005
In the 2002 and previous editions of the National Electrical Code, the metal frame of a building or structure was required to be used as a grounding electrode when the metal of the building or structure was effectively grounded. Whether the metal frame of the building or structure was considered effectively grounded became a judgment call of the installer, the inspector or both. READ MORE
January 2005
Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection for personnel or a similar protection technique has been in the National Electrical Code (NEC) since 1962 with specific reference to GFCI and its definition found in the 1968 NEC. Each subsequent edition of the NEC has seen expansion of the requirements for this very important safety device. READ MORE
December 2004
Grounding electrodes are required to be installed and connected to electrical services and to some feeders or branch circuits in separate buildings remotely located from the service. Is the grounding electrode conductor permitted to be installed inside the building, and if so, what is the permissible length of the grounding electrode when located inside the building? READ MORE
November 2004
Most electricians are very familiar with the spacing requirements for receptacles in dwelling units. In kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, sunrooms, bedrooms, recreation rooms or similar rooms, receptacles must be installed so that no point along the floor line is more than six feet measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in any wall space. READ MORE
October 2004
Dedicated 20-ampere branch circuits are required Most dwelling units are required to have a laundry area within the living area or have a laundry area provided on the premises for a multifamily building. However, some multifamily buildings do not provide laundry areas within the individual apartments and do not have or permit laundry facilities within the complex. READ MORE
September 2004
The basis of grounding and bonding starts at the connection of a bonding jumper or an equipment-grounding conductor to a box, an enclosure or other electrical equipment and ends at the point of connection to the service-grounded conductor in a grounded system or at the service-equipment enclosure for an ungrounded system. READ MORE
August 2004
The five exceptions to providing nonflexible metal raceways Providing alternate power for essential electrical circuits in a hospital is extremely important during loss of normal power. Providing protection from damage will provide additional assurance of the continuity of power to circuits that are vital to the protection of life and safety in a hospital. READ MORE
July 2004
Brush up on what the NEC says about air conditioning During the hottest parts of the summer, most people do not notice the sound of air conditioning units turning on and off, but if a unit fails to start, the effect is noticed immediately. Comfort becomes a premium to be restored at all costs. READ MORE