Q. Does the NEC allow switched receptacle outlets above a suspended ceiling for cord and plug connection of equipment?

A. Flexible cords must not be concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings, or located above suspended or dropped ceilings [400.8(5)]. Receptacles are permitted above a suspended ceiling, but a flexible cord is not. Why install a receptacle above a ceiling if the flexible cord is not permitted in this space? Because the receptacle could be used for portable tools; it just can't be used for cord-and-plug equipment fastened in place.