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 2014
Concealment of flexible cords and cables that are installed as an integral part of appliances—or when used for connecting other electrical equipment—is an ongoing issue for the electrical industry. The history of the National Electrical Code (NEC) provides some insight.
July 2014
The concept of modular data centers (MDCs) originated about six or seven years ago as a portable method of delivering information technology data center capacity without the high cost and long construction time. Manufacturing these data centers at a factory can reduce fabrication cost and time as well as facilitate shipping using a train, truck or a combination of both. READ MORE
June 2014
NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC), is an installation code, while NFPA 70E is the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. There is an unofficial line of demarcation between the two documents. The NEC is used for design, installation and inspection of the electrical installation before the system is energized. READ MORE
May 2014
The 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) introduced changes that required ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection to be readily accessible, and the 2014 NEC presents further changes regarding ready access of these devices. Were these changes necessary? GFCI devices were already required to be readily accessible, but they may not have been installed in a readily accessible location.
April 2014
Available fault current, short-circuit current rating, arc energy, arc flash hazards, and incident energy are closely related in both the National Electrical Code (NEC) and NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. However, enforcement of the NEC and NFPA 70E are handled very differently. 
March 2014
For many years, Article 250, which covers grounding and bonding in the National Electrical Code (NEC), only contained two tables. Table 250.122 was used for sizing the equipment grounding conductors, based on the size of the overcurrent protective device in the circuit. READ MORE
February 2014
This article returns to the topic of my December 2013 column, which dealt with some of the changes that occurred to 210.12 for arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) in the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC), such as the expansion of AFCI devices to include circuits for kitchens and laundry equipment.
January 2014
I made a comment while teaching a class that nonmetallic (NM) cable was not permitted in an outdoor, wet location. An attendee took exception to that statement and asked me to provide National Electrical Code (NEC) justification for the assertion. Initially, the answer seemed very easy to justify, but there were extenuating circumstances that were more difficult to address. READ MORE
December 2013
Installation requirements for arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) in 210.12 of National Electrical Code (NEC) have been modified considerably in the past three NEC cycles and have changed dramatically in the 2014 NEC. To understand the ramifications of these changes, the best method is to provide the actual text from the 2014 NEC and then follow this text with an explanation.