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.
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.