Many States are Moving to Adopt 2005 National Electrical Code

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff September 7, 2005

Jurisdictions throughout the United States are moving to adopt the 2005 edition of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC). Since the 50th edition of the code was issued by the National Fire Protection Assn. (NFPA) late last year, it has been adopted and used on a statewide basis in 14 states.

“The quality of the 2005 NEC is what led us to make this decision,” said Don Offerdahl, executive director of North Dakota’s Electrical Board. “We know that the added provisions in the 2005 NEC have strengthened public safety in our state.”

“Our focus is on providing the safest electrical requirements possible,” said Bill Laidler of the Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations. “The fact is the 2005 NEC provides the best set of safety requirements ever found in an electrical code.”

Joining North Dakota and Massachusetts in using the 2005 NEC are the following states: Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. And many other states have already started the process of updating their current NEC adoption to include the 2005 edition, according to NFPA officials.

Some of the new offerings in the 2005 NEC , say NFPA officials, include the following:

  • Expanded requirements for ground-fault-circuit interrupters (GFCIs), calling for the devices to be used more extensively in homes, businesses and public places.

  • Requirements for the use of the latest in arc-fault-circuit interrupter (AFCI) technology.

  • Provisions that are designed to minimize shock and burn hazards faced by those who install and service electrical systems.

  • Requirements that building emergency systems intended to provide occupant safety in the event of fire or other disaster include operational safeguards that will increase the reliability of these important public safety systems.

“We wanted to have those and other electrical safety provisions in place in our state, and that is why we worked quickly to adopt and begin using the 2005 NEC, ” said Offerdahl.