Evolution of Information Delivery

NFPA® is committed to transforming the way you access information and the way you work—with more efficient, customizable, real-time solutions. That means the way we provide information—and the available formats—will continue to evolve. We want to be clear about what is changing, so you know how to access the tools you need to do your job. Your world is changing, and we are proud to change along with you to help make the world safer.

What Is Changing?
For 125 years, NFPA has worked hard to help ensure that people and property are protected from harm. For many of those years, it was through simply our codes and standards.

But we have heard from you that today a physical code book or a static digital version of a book is not the best means to help solve problems on a real-time basis. You want information faster, on different devices, and in different languages. We also heard that you don’t want only the text of a code or standard—you want context and insights to help understand problems and develop solutions.

To meet this ever-growing need, NFPA is excited to offer a new digital platform, NFPA LiNK™. As part of this transition, NFPA will no longer offer access to PDFs for new editions of codes and standards, handbooks, or other reference titles such as pocket guides, including new titles available through the National Fire Codes® Subscription Service (NFCSS™) effective with the 2020 releases. Titles previously published in PDF will remain in-market and access to them will still be available in the subscription digital version of NFCSS. Existing NFPA PDFs will be updated as needed for Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) or Errata.

Learn More About Your Format Choices

Whether you are working in your office and need a deeper understanding of the code and its intent, or you are out in the field and need a quick code check, NFPA provides you with format options to ensure the you have access to the critical information you need when you need it.

Formats available

Print
Traditional print books are easily portable and clearly indicate what’s changed from the previous edition. You can use NFPA self-adhesive index tabs for organization and efficiency.
Subscription
Our online subscription products, National Fire Codes® Subscription Service (NFCSS™) and NFPA LiNK™,  provide digital access to the information you need through your computer, laptop, or mobile device, empowering you with the guidance and know-how required to get the job done and help make the world safer.
Free Access
NFPA makes its codes and standards available online to the public for free. Visit any NFPA document information page to get started. 

Formats no longer available

PDF
Effective with the annual 2020 code cycle, NFPA will no longer offer access to the PDF format as a choice for new editions of codes and standards, handbooks, or other reference titles. Existing PDFs will remain in-market and will still be accessible in our National Fire Codes® Subscription Service (NFCSS™). 
eBook
Effective with the Annual 2019 code cycle, NFPA stopped creating new eBooks.  We no longer provide access to digital books in the ePub3 format. We continue to support digital books that you have previously licensed from NFPA. The NFPA free eReader app called NFPA eLibrary is also no longer available.  If you have previously licensed an NFPA eBook and have questions, please email our customer service center custserv@nfpa.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NFPA still offering access to PDFs?
As part of our transition to a new digital way to deliver information, NFPA will no longer offer access to PDFs for new editions of codes and standards, handbooks, or other reference titles such as pocket guides, including new titles available through the National Fire Codes® Subscription Service (NFCSS™) effective with the 2020 releases. Titles previously published in PDF will remain in-market and will still be available in the subscription digital access version of NFCSS. Print books are still available for purchase.

Although we realize that some of our users will be disappointed with this decision, NFPA has looked extensively at various formats. PDF and eBook lack sufficient security and copyright protection and the ability to update with new information in an effective manner. Moving away from these formats is critical for the long-term viability and integrity of the NFPA standards process and for the continued advancement of NFPA in a digital world.

Why is NFPA making this change to how I can access information digitally?
We have heard from you that today a physical code book or a static digital version of a book is not the best means to help solve problems on a real-time basis. You want information faster, on different devices, and in different languages. We also heard that you don’t want only the text of a code or standard—you want context and insights to help understand problems and develop solutions.

Will handbooks such as the 2020 National Electrical Code® (NEC®) Handbook be available in PDF?
Effective with the 2020 NEC handbook and other 2020 handbook releases and beyond, NFPA has stopped offering access to these titles in PDF format. These titles are available in print and in NFCSS™.

Will NFPA Handbooks be in NFPA LiNK™? 
NFPA LiNK™ features “enhanced content” both in-line with the code text, similar to the handbook experience, and also as supporting information for DiRECT situation and solution pages. Enhanced content consists of existing NFPA handbook commentary and visuals as well as entirely new content created specifically for NFPA LiNK™. With a digital subscription, you will have access to everything loaded into the application and will continue to see new content added and updated on an ongoing basis. Not all handbook commentary from a specific title may appear in NFPA LiNK™. 

How will I know what material is included in NFPA LiNK™ and when new material is expected to be added?
Please visit NFPA LiNK™ to sign up for a free trial and to learn what material is included and what is upcoming.

How will I know if the code or standard I am interested in is available through access to a PDF?
Search for the desired code or standard on the NFPA Catalog,  if access to a PDF is available, it will be listed on the product detail page. 

What is the difference between NFCSS and NFPA LiNK™?
The National Fire Codes® Subscription Service (NFCSS) is a subscription-based online database providing convenient access to the library of NFPA® codes and standards. NFCSS streamlines access and helps you keep the most up-to-date information at hand.

NFPA LiNK™ is a subscription-based application that delivers NFPA® codes and standards, expert commentary, and supporting content. This new tool allows you to easily navigate the codes and help you understand code requirements based on real-life situations. With NFPA LiNK™ you can curate content, bookmark, add notes, share, and collaborate.

View a side-by-side comparison of the product features included with each of these subscriptions.

Is NFPA still offering free access to the codes and standards?
As part of its commitment to enhancing public safety, NFPA makes its codes and standards available online to the public for free. Learn more about free access.