Attendance at today’s Mission Critical webinar on NEC Article 708 demonstrated the general interest not only in Article 708 but also in code issues in general as well as code enforcement. Our first speaker, Bill Mazzetti of Rosendin Electric began the session by listing a number of tragedies that had driven code changes. I believe human life was lost in each incident. It was a sobering reminder of what the codes are intended to do.

Bill and Ken Kutsmeda of KlingStubbins then spent considerable time discussing the new code, with Ken talking mostly about the new provisions and Bill focusing on subjects like the cost of compliance. They wrapped the formal presentations up early, so we could begin a lengthy Q&A period, with what appeared to be a very engaged audience. I expect that today’s sponsor, ASCO, will be happy that the topic engaged so many viewers so thoroughly.

I’d put the questions in two categories: 1. technology and 2. jurisdiction. And the jurisdiction questions were fascinating because they suggest a level of uncertainty about where the code applies and uncertainty about its enforcement. Indeed, I could sense uncertainty from the webinar viewers about how well AHJs understood the code. Logically, of course, poor understanding at that level would indicate possible uneven enforcement. Remember, this is a life-safety code.

Mission Critical is looking forward to providing more coverage of the safety issue. Our next webinar, for example, is titled Arc Flash and Other Hazards in the Data Center. Doug Sandberg, principal, DHS Associates, and David Sjogren, VP, DAS Associates Inc., will be examining electrical safety practices in the data center, a subject that Doug has addressed previously in his role as Mission Critical columnist.
The event is sponsored by ABB  and scheduled for Thursday, August 25, 2011, at 2pm ET. Click Here to register and see how you can make things a bit safer in your facilities.