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#22858 - 03/05/03 06:19 PM Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
txsparky Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Is anyone watching the NFPA getting grilled by 60 Minutes on why sprinklers arent required on a building occupancy of 299 but is required for an occupancy of 300.They(NFPA)don't have an answer or any data to support the 300 breaking point.

Kinda reminds you of the "42" circuit panel doesn't it?
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#22859 - 03/05/03 07:19 PM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
nesparky Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
The code commmittes made a choice when writing those code sections.
Sometime those choices look bad when later actions occur.
Balancing reasonable safety standards vs costs will always be a subject for discussion.
You can NOT legislate against a foolish action(s). Fools and those who do not think of consequences of thier actions will always cause injuries,death and damage- just give them time.
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ed

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#22860 - 03/06/03 04:53 AM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
nesparky, the point is they could not say how they came up with the number 300. It seems like a number pulled out of the air. This seem to be the method of operation sometimes.

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#22861 - 03/06/03 06:22 AM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
txsparky Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
nesparky,
I know that you can't legislate against foolish actions.I was trying to point out that some codes seem to have no rhyme or reason.Take for example 250.140 which allows type SE bare conductor to be used as a grounded conductor in existing range and dryer installations,but not a bare conductor in type NM. Hello,bare is bare,no matter what type of cable it is in! Where is the logic in it?
I feel that an organization that began in 1896 should base it's codes on past data and have something to back up their reasoning.Don't just tell me that thats the way it is and thats how it's going to be.Come on,they have had 106 yrs to come up with these codes and substantiate the reasoning behind them.
Having said that,I still feel the code works,just don't care for all of the grey areas.I don't want to hear someone say that we use that number because we always have.Tell me what the previous CMP that made the rule based it on.
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#22862 - 03/06/03 06:33 AM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
rowdyrudy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/02/02
Posts: 171
Loc: Mascoutah, IL USA
txsparky: You are very correct regarding no ryme or reason items. Some excerpts from court decisions on the NFPA 70 are:
"....no factual data to support this contention."
"....no substantiation has been submitted."
"....no knowledge of fire loss data to support rule." This one was testimony by a NFPA committee member.
So, are some of the sections inserted in the code without anything in support? Yes!
Could we do without the NEC? NO!
Rowdy

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#22863 - 03/06/03 06:39 AM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
jdevlin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 402
Loc: welland ontario canada
And if the number was 200 someone would ask what about 199.

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#22864 - 03/06/03 07:20 AM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
txsparky Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
 Quote:
And if the number was 200 someone would ask what about 199.


So, why not just explain how you arrived at that number.If nothing else,admit that they picked it at random and that they will assess it further as data is compiled.

[This message has been edited by txsparky (edited 03-06-2003).]
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#22865 - 03/06/03 06:04 PM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
nesparky Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
All I am saying is that when this or any section of a code is written, a decision was made. That decision was what that section of code should read and how it was worded. Sometimes committees make decisions that make no sense later but seemed good at the time. There are many reasons this happens. If a commitee later cannot justify why a decision was reached, you can bet that not everyone was on the same page and there was some pressure to make a decision.
When something happens to make people ask questions, committees can look bad.
Still when used properly, it's still the best code making system we have. Far from perfect and can be worked on.
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ed

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#22866 - 03/06/03 09:01 PM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
George Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/02
Posts: 380
The NFPA does not make law. The body that adopted the code as law should have been asked to justify its decisions.

That includes the AHJ, the police, and the fire departments as they are the chief advisors of the adopting body.

The NFPA made the decision becasue it was a reasonably safe compromise.

Before the fire how many of you had lobbied for a lower number? (retorical)

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#22867 - 03/07/03 12:02 PM Re: Arbitrary Numbers from NFPA
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
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Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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