Originally Posted By: jtedesco
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Origin and Development of NFPA 73
The NFPA began the development of NFPA 73, Electrical Inspection Code for Existing Dwellings, in 1990. The original document was developed as a result of the united efforts of various insurance, electrical, construction, inspection, utility, and other allied interests.
The document was initiated in response to data obtained from studies conducted on older homes by the NFPA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and other groups involved with fire investigations.
These studies clearly indicated that fires and other hazards attributed to electrical causes would be significantly reduced if electrical systems were installed and maintained in accordance with the National Electrical Code ? (NEC ?).
The fact that only 5 percent of fires occurred in dwellings under 10 years of age is reported in one of the studies, which indicates the effectiveness of the NEC and electrical inspections at the time of construction. It also suggests that identification and correction of unsafe conditions in existing dwellings by means of appropriate inspections could effectively eliminate a significant portion of the residential fire occurrences and other associated hazards.
In accordance with the provisions of the NFPA Regulations Governing Committee Projects, an NFPA 73 Technical Committee Report containing proposed amendments to the first draft developed by the NFPA 73 committee was published in the Fall 1993 Technical Committee Report.
This report recorded the actions of the committee and the correlating committee of the National Electrical Code on each proposal that had been made to revise the first draft.
Following the close of the public comment period, the committee met, acted on each comment, and reported their actions to the NEC correlating committee. The NFPA published the results in the Fall 1993 Technical Committee Documentation.
This permitted the study and evaluation by those interested, prior to formal action on the Committee Report by the 1993 NFPA Fall Meeting.
The second edition of this document was submitted for formal adoption at the 1996 NFPA Annual Meeting.
Significant changes to the 2000 edition of NFPA 73 include a new title and an expanded scope. The Standards Council and the National Electrical Code Correlating Committee approved changing the scope of the document to include all dwelling units, including mobile and manufactured homes. To support expanding the document scope, the NFPA Technical Committee on Electrical Systems Maintenance cited that deterioration of electrical systems could occur in existing multifamily dwellings and mobile and manufactured homes. The inspection community now has a code that can be used to improve the safety of electrical systems in all dwelling units. The change in the title from ?maintenance? to ?inspection? reflects the intended purpose of the document.
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant