What is the NEC?

NEC stands for the National Electrical Code. It is a set of codes developed and maintained by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA. The NEC is also known as NFPA 70. It is the set of standards that are used for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection. The goal behind the NEC is to ensure people and property are safe from electrical hazards.

NEC Requirements

The NFPA and the NEC are not regulatory standards that have any power of force behind them on their own since they are not governmental agencies. OSHA, however, has adopted many of the NFPA standards, including the NEC, to help push for improved workplace safety. Today NEC has been adopted by all 50 states and has helped to effectively reduce the risk of fire and other electrical hazards significantly.

History of NEC

The NFPA developed the national electrical code by bringing together twenty code-making panels and a technical correlating committee. The NEC was first released in 1897 and has been updated periodically ever since. There is typically an update published every three years, with the most recent being rolled out in 2020. After a new version is released states and businesses usually have a few years to adopt the changes.

Who Uses the NEC?

The NEC is the standard used in residential, commercial, and industrial situations. This means that just about anyone who is performing any type of electrical work will need to be following these standards. The specific standards that are required in a given situation will depend on the state that you are doing work in. As of now, there are states following all versions from 2008 all the way up to 2020. That being said, electricians can typically follow the latest version of the NEC, even if the state in which they are working hasn’t yet formally adopted it.


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