Extracted from Mike Holt's best selling book Understanding
the National Electrical Code.
The National Electrical Code (NFPA Volume 70) has been published, edited, and revised since 1897 and
has been sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) since 1911. The NEC is considered
by some to be the finest building code standard of its kind. The NEC is used not only throughout most
of the United States, but also in some other countries throughout the world, such as Mexico and Puerto
The original Electrical Code was developed by the combined efforts of the insurance, electrical, and
architectural industries. The first electrical code was assembled by the National Association of Fire
Engineers in 1897.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has many other standards besides the NEC that are related
to the electrical field. The NFPA standards (including the NEC) are in effect only if the legal jurisdictions
have adopted them as law.
The twenty NFPA Code Panels responsible for the NEC often consult with the technical experts and members
responsible for other NFPA standards. The NEC rules should correlate with the regulations in other
Anyone may suggest a change to the National Electrical Code by submitting a proposal to the National
Fire Protection Association. If you would like to submit a code change to the 1996 NEC, be sure to
submit it no later than November 1997. When submitting changes, keep in mind that the primary purpose
of the NEC is the protection of life and property. At the front of the NEC there are detailed instructions
on how to submit a code change.
More than 3,500 proposed changes were submitted to the NFPA for the 1996 Code, of these only a few
hundred were accepted. All proposals are reviewed by the National Electrical Code Committee, which
consists of twenty Code-making panels. Each Code Panel has about fifteen to twenty members who represent
special interest groups, such as inspectors, electrical workers, electrical contractors, testing laboratories,
manufacturers, distributors, insurance organizations, and government regulatory authorities. See the
front of the NEC for a complete list of committee members and who they represent.
Each Code Panel is assigned specific Code articles, for example; Panel No. 2 is responsible for Articles
210, 215, 220, and Chapter 9, Examples 1 through 6.
here for more information