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2023 National Electrical Code Aims to Make the World Safer, Collectively Through Public Feedback

As NFPA celebrates its 125th anniversary, we thank all of you for helping us protect this world, making it a safer place. We cannot be successful without your important contributions. One such example is the first draft of the 2023 NFPA 70 National Electrical Code® (NEC®), which posted publicly on June 28. Over 4,000 public inputs for the 2023 NEC were received and evaluated by the NEC Code Making Panels (CMP), producing the first draft of the standard. The next step in the NFPA Standards Development Process is the public comment stage.

Between now and August 19, the public has an opportunity to review the 2023 NEC first draft and have their voice heard by submitting a public comment. If you did not submit a public input, now is the time to review the 2023 NEC first draft and become engaged in the process. While it would be difficult to elaborate here on all the topics for the 4,000-plus public inputs that were submitted, there are certainly some you would expect, and maybe a few you might not. Inputs were received on ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) and arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI’s), which are common within each cycle and always generate a lot of discussion. There were also inputs introduced in the public input stage around cyber security and cannabis oil systems, topics that are tied directly to the changing world around us.  Whatever your passionate about, your voice needs to be heard. You have a right in the process; don’t let the 2023 NEC be fully developed without adding your public comment and expertise.

While on the topic of your voice being heard, there is more needed than just commenting on the 2023 NEC. Now is the time to contact legislators to ask that the most current codes and standards are being utilized in your community. The NEC is developed in three-year cycles in which the latest safety needs and technologies are addressed and implemented. Operating on older cycles of codes and standards denies the public their right to safety. After all, “Development and Use of Current Codes” is one of the eight key components of the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem that must all be utilized in conjunction to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards. As of June 1, 2021, there are only 11 states that have adopted the 2020 NEC, which is the most current published code, and we are well into development of the 2023 NEC. There isn't a better time than now to reach out to legislators and explain why it is so important that we adopt and utilize the most current, safest codes to achieve electrical safety.

The NFPA Standards Development Process is recognized for being transparent and ensuring the ability for public input. The 2023 NEC is taking shape and accepting public comment through August 19. Whatever your role may be within the electrical industry, your voice needs to be heard. Not just regarding the 2023 NEC, but also requesting that legislators adopt the latest codes and standards in your local area. If the last year has taught us anything, it's that personal and public safety is key to our survival. It's a big world. Let's protect it together.

NFPA 70 is now available in NFPA LiNK™, the association’s information delivery platform with NFPA codes and standards, supplementary content, and visual aids for building, electrical, and life safety professionals and practitioners. Learn more at nfpa.org/LiNK.

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Corey Hannahs
Electrical Content Specialist, Corey serves as an electrical subject matter expert in the development of products and services that support NFPA documents and stakeholders.

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