If you're doing constructionwork, you probably need at least one NFPA reference. The most likely would be need your own copy of the National Electrical Code. But there are other NFPA references that may apply, and we have them here. If one is applicable to the job you're doing, then you should have your own copy and refer to it often. Why?
Drawings can easily contain code violations. You need to check the drawings before doing the work. That protects your company and it protects you.
When a question of "Can we do it this way?" arises, you'll be able to find the answer yourself.
If a question arises about something you did, you can look up the Code requirement rather than taking someone else's word for it.
Your NFPA code needs to be current. Why:
Codes are revised on a regular basis to accomodate new methods and materials. This way, users and regulators can plan on code cycle schedules. It's typycally every three years, a with the NEC.
If your code books is not current with the latest revivision, you may miss a requirement and thus commit a violation.
You may do something in a more time-consuming or costly way than the code actually requires.
The NFPA is a non-profit organization that relies upon the volunteer efforts of industry experts. It has served the construction, maintenance, and power distribution industries, among others, since 1896. Though originally a USA-only organization (thus "National"), it is now an international one. Its mission is "to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education."
The NFPA claims to be "the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety," and few would argue that is is. The NFPA is most well-known as the publisher of the Life Safety Code and the National Electrical Code, but it also develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 other codes and standards. All of these codes are intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.
These documents are called "consensus codes and standards" because they are developed by experts working in the applicable fields. For example, a code-making panel for a given standard or part of a standard might consist of ten or more people with varying backgrounds all pertinent to that standard. Those backgrounds might be: design engineer, field engineer, consulting engineer, tradesperson, manufacturer's engineer, subject instructor, trade publication editor (with appropriate engineering or trade experience credentials), or (related) association representative. What you won't find is a code-making panel consisting of people who have no stake in developing a workable, useful code.
NFPA membership totals more than 70,000 individuals around the world. Employers often pay for membership, plus for participation in NFPA activities. The NFPA has many programs and initiatives to further the cause of public safety.
Code Compliance Tips
Obviously, you need to know what the regulations and requirements are. That's why you should buy this standard.
As you apply a requirement, look at the principle behind it. If you satisfy the principle, you won't be subject to "interpretation revisions" being forced on you later.
To understand a particular provision, understand its context. So rather than look up a sentence and try to parse out its meaning, look at the entire code and how it's arranged. Where does the provision fit within this framework, and what is that chapter or section trying to accomplish?
Remember that members of all code-making bodies write the codes in respect to the laws of physics, and to the body of knowledge in the respective trade or skill area addressed by the code. If you also understand these things, then you will be able to more properly apply a given code requirement.
Codes are nearly always written as minimum requirements. You may need to go beyond the code requirements for optimum operational efficiency or to satisfy engineering requirements based on best practices. The codes almost never limit you from going beyond the requirements.
The 2009 Life Safety Code, NPFA 101, incorporates the latest technologies, advances, and safety strategies so you can achieve required levels of protection for building occupants. It includes rules for sprinklers, alarms, egress, emergency lighting, smoke barriers, More Info
NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems provides the minimum requirements for the design and installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems and exposure protection sprinkler systems covered within NFPA 13. More Info
The 2005 NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities provides the rules for the safe application of electrical systems, gas and vacuum systems, environment systems, materials, and emergency management practices in health care facilities. More Info
The NFPA Guide to Electrical Systems in Health Care Facilities goes beyond the NEC Article 517 to provide you with support for everything from design to compliance to maintenance. It provides you with reliable information that addresses all aspects of electrical sy More Info
Correctly and efficiently apply the 2011 NEC during design and in the field. This deluxe package includes the 2011 NEC Softbound Code Book, NEC Code Tabs, and our Illustrated Changes to the NEC Textbook with 2 DVDs. More Info
Correctly and efficiently apply the 2011 NEC during design and in the field. This deluxe package includes the 2011 NEC Spiral Bound Code Book, NEC Code Tabs, and our Illustrated Changes to the NEC Textbook with 2 DVDs. More Info
Have the National Electrical Code at your fingertips AND be able to use it with speed and accuracy. This special package includes the 2011 NEC Softbound Code Book, NEC Code Tabs, and our Illustrated Changes to the NEC Textbook. More Info
Have the National Electrical Code at your fingertips AND be able to use it with speed and accuracy. This special package includes the 2011 NEC Spiralbound Code Book, NEC Code Tabs, and our Illustrated Changes to the NEC Textbook. More Info