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Hi Phil, glad to hear you enjoy the CQD. This is another example of where work performed by electricians and electrical contractors has become more complex. As a result, these complex systems are impacted by other Codes in addition to the NEC®. This is also a good example of the importance of ensuring we use the appropriate terminology. Terms like: Emergency Power, Standby Power, Back Up Power, are just some examples terms used universally, but they all have a very different meaning in the Code.
Emergency System (Article 700) – A required system, regulated for reliability and the top of the hierarchy in importance, as it generally includes the electrical loads necessary in aiding the safe and speedy evacuation of people in the building during an emergency.
Legally Required Standby Systems (Article 701) – A required system, second in the hierarchy. It generally supplies electrical loads that help the first responders as they enter a building to provide aid to occupants and/or fight a fire etc.
Optional Standby Power (Article 702) – An optional system intended for convenience type loads that do not qualify as an Emergency Loads or Legally Required Standby Loads.
Article 700 of the NEC® covers installation of the wiring related to the emergency system. The actual loads connected to an emergency system are generally specified in Chapter 27 of the International Building Code (IBC®). Section 2702.2 establishes where Emergency Systems and Standby Systems are required. Section 2702.2.17 states “Standby Power shall be provided for Smoke Control Systems as required in Sections 404.7, 909.11, 909.20.7.2 and 909.21.5.
ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.
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CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.
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