When I am performing construction administration services for my clients and ask contractors why they installed the fire alarm system the way they did, they often lament, “That’s all the code required!”
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.
I receive questions and stories about installer experiences with code-compliant fire alarm systems in the field, many relating to issues about the use, application and installation requirements of visible and audible notification appliances.
In my last column, I discussed the ICC code process. This month, I look at the NFPA process. As I previously mentioned, the ICC and NFPA have completely different processes for codes and standards development. Yet, both operate on three-year cycles.
We all know our an industry is governed by codes and standards. While many complain about some of the requirements, few try to do anything about it. We all have an opportunity to fix things that we don’t like. Most people don’t understand the process or believe they can have any effect.
It makes sense that most contractors focus on the codes that relate to the system types they install. Specifically, professional systems contractors most use NFPA 70, National Electrical Code and NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
“What is NFPA 72?” That sounds like a straightforward question, right? At least, we would like to think so. At a recent meeting, someone asked a technician this seemingly simple question. He replied correctly that NFPA 72 was the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
Table 310.15(B)(16) is one of the most referenced tables in the National Electrical Code (NEC). It contains allowable (or maximum) ampacities for insulated conductors rated up to and including 2,000 volts (V). The ampacities listed in this table are based on specific conditions.
I was involved recently in a discussion on lightning protection for various types of buildings and what standards applied to those installations or if the installations required compliance with NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems; UL 96A, Standard for Installation
Like many engineering disciplines, the fire protection world is built on tradition. And while tradition provides stability and uniformity, it also explains why the fire protection community has moved toward new technology applications at glacial speed.
If you have a problem related to the National Electrical Code (NEC), are experiencing difficulty in understanding a Code requirement, or are wondering why or if such a requirement exists, ask Charlie, and he will let the Code decide. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
In March 2012, the International Code Council (ICC) announced the availability of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), a new model code for constructing and remodeling buildings to a higher sustainability standard.
The overcurrent device rating is a key factor when determining the correct size conductor. Article 240 in the National Electrical Code (NEC) provides general requirements for overcurrent protection and overcurrent protective devices.
I recently realized that our failure to properly train fire alarm system technicians has created a group of workers who simply do not understand the reasons they do what they do. When a technician asks for the rationale behind a procedure, we often respond, “Because the code requires it.”
In the 2005 National Electrical Code (NEC) process, proposals were submitted to change the phrase “equipment grounding conductor” to “equipment bonding conductor” wherever the phrase existed throughout the NEC.