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Code Alert: Indiana, 05 June 2009

On June 2, 2009 the Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission voted to adopt the 2008 NEC while deleting all Arc-Fault circuit protection and Tamper Resistant Receptacle requirements from the 2008 NEC. The Indiana Electrical Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from Builders, Manufactured housing, Electrical Inspectors, Engineers, Manufacturers, IBEW and Electrical Utilities, along with support from Underwriters Laboratories recommended moving the adoption of the 2008 NEC forward with the safety provisions of AFCI and Tamper Resistant requirements.

A multitude of process issues resulted in the removal of these safety provisions. The State Code Services Department was first prompted by the State Budget Agency to remove safety provisions that were identified by the department to have an increase to construction cost. Public hearing participants provided overwhelming support urging the Fire Prevention and Building safety Commission to reinsert the safety provision that were removed.

The Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission then proceeded to not accept the electrical committee recommendations that would have moved residential construction in Indiana to the 2008 NEC, leaving residential construction on the 2005 NEC requirements. That action was followed by the commission accepting the 2008 NEC for other than one and two family construction without AFCI and Tamper Resistant Receptacles. The commission did choose to include three of the five safety items removed by the State Code Services Department. Significant confusion was apparent within the commission about how the 2008 NEC applied to residential construction and the role that the residential code serves, as the residential code in Indiana includes electrical provisions from the 2005 NEC.

The simple fact is that having electrical provisions in two different codes establishes confusion and a safety gap between a significant homeowner’s investment and the electrical safety provision found in an apartment complex. Indiana continues to holds the distinction as the only state in the country as not requiring any Arc-Fault protection in residential construction which is required in the 49 other states. AFCIs have been protecting homes across the country for over 10 years. It will also be the first state to adopt the 2008 NEC without Tamper Resistant Receptacles design to protect children from electrical burns, which is now required in over half the states across the country.

Contact: Don Iverson: don.iverson@nema.org


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