Systems

 

 

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. 

Since 1999, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code has required survivability for certain circuits that need to work during a fire. In truth, the code has always required speaker circuits serving emergency voice/alarm communications systems to meet a performance requirement for survivability. 


Figure 1: Special manual building evacuation station. Photo courtesy of Jensen Hughes Inc.

Recently, a number of inquiries were made to our office regarding the topic of delaying or preventing the activation of fire alarm notification appliances.

As data about home energy use expands, the next big thing could come from new products and services companies create to analyze and use that data.

It never ceases to amaze me just how much people in our industry have been either misled or misinformed concerning technical and code information.

More on Systems

 
A Protective Barrier

Optical fiber, like copper wire for communications, needs to be kept dry to maintain its performance. On wire, moisture causes high impedance and crosstalk. In fiber, it adds to the attenuation and may make fibers brittle and more susceptible to damage.


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The Future of Smart Buildings

There is an all-electric house in Tennessee that costs 82 cents a day to heat, cool and power. Built in November 2002 by Habitat for Humanity, it is one of four homes under the “Near-Zero-Energy House” name.


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Video over IP Gains Ground

Live video has come a long way since the early 1990s. Remember the images of reporters filing news reports through the analog-transmitted video feed during the first Gulf War? It was shaky at best. But times and technology have changed and video streams are not even close to what they were then.


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Use Your Metal

The failure of a service-entrance bus duct supplying power to a major grocery store data center and corporate facility created a dilemma for store management.


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Ironing out the Kinks

When wireless sensors and detectors came on the market decades ago, the devices were known more for missing signals than capturing alarm activity. They were used in a “patch” type of approach, applied when hard-wired devices were impossible.


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Essential to the Integrated Environment

Sensors and detectors have upped the ante with intelligent features and supervision, making them essential to an integrated and automated building environment.


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More than 'Just in Time'

'Just in time' used to be the battle cry in security product manufacturing and distribution. Now, it is more than just in time-it is all about arming the contractor with the information they need to boost sales and present the end-user with a product portfolio adeptly suited to the application.


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