Integrated electrical and low-voltage systems of all types—inside and outside a building—encompass the range of work that electrical contractors do. The articles in this section highlight different types of work, from security, fire and life safety, to traditional electrical power and distribution, to lighting, cabling and more. 

There is an old saying that liars figure and figures lie, which implies that the truth can be a challenge to discern from both people and data. At a recent standards-making conference, I encountered some examples of this concept that seemed worth sharing.

For electrical contractors with a low-voltage or security division—or for any company involved in physical security and surveillance—keeping pace with new technology is one of the greatest challenges.

When I entered the business, I “sold” fire alarm systems. Codes at the time had begun to require that such systems be installed in some occupancies.

In its paper, “Intelligent Efficiency: Innovations Reshaping the Energy Efficiency Market,” Greentech Media notes that efficiency is an untapped energy resource that is already embedded in every commercial building, manufacturing facility and corporate campus.

More on Systems

It's Just Math

In attempting to explain to a colleague why we care about negative sequence components, I tried to follow the guidance that Bob Lawrie, another member of the NFPA 70B Electrical Equipment Maintenance committee, offered to me many years ago: never use a formula in an article.

An Article About Articles

In preparing to write my next article, I often review the topics I have covered in the past year or so, and I consider the issue’s theme.

Let's Get Visible

As most of you know, the codes and standards for fire alarm and mass notification systems change on a three-year cycle. New technology and more refined occupant needs top the list of reasons for most changes.

See The Future, Be The Future

The predictions have arrived! Analysts expect the first quarter of 2015 to show a rapid rise in commercial construction. Obviously, this is good news on almost all fronts.

The Codes Are Not Always Clear

One of my responsibilities over the years has been to field questions from our members and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) to help them find and understand code requirements. I have benefitted from the process as well.

Filling Installation Needs

A limited number of low-voltage contractors specialize in the installation of sprinkler systems power and controls. For them, it provides a regular source of revenue that most contractors have bypassed.

Fluke Networks DSX-5000 CableAnalyzer certification tester
Cool Tools: Certification Testers

A certification tester is the basic instrument for certifying that a building’s structured wiring meets industry standards. At one time, structured wiring referred to a facility’s communications network, but that has changed.