This piece was originally published in the November 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Don Iverson, Midwest Field Representative, NEMA
Recognizing the importance of staying current with electrical safety, many states initiated their processes to adopt the next edition of the 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC). Of the 17 states in the Midwest region, there are seven that have currently adopted the 2017 NEC and four others that are on track to adopt by the end of 2017 or early 2018.
Let’s now focus on the current challenges and what is expected to come in 2018.
In January, the Department of Safety and Professional Services held several public hearings on the adoption of the 2017 NEC. During those hearings, the Wisconsin fire community, the local electrical industry, the National Fire Protection Association, and NEMA spoke against the proposed arc-fault circuit interrupter and ground-fault circuit interrupter amendments. Since January, a local coalition of fire and electrical professionals has held press conferences and face-to-face meetings with the governor’s office to explain the loss of electrical safety if Wisconsin approves the current amendments.
Although Ohio has adopted the 2017 NEC for commercial structures with an effective date of November 1, 2017, the state has a separate adoption path for its residential code that covers one-, two-, and three-family dwellings. It is modeled after the International Code Council (ICC) format with amendments. The review process is conducted by the Ohio Residential Code Advisory Committee, which is likely to begin reviewing the electrical portion of the document early in 2018.