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. 

Electrical contractors (ECs) are bearing witness to dramatic changes in the physical security industry. Everything is moving to the network. Customers connect to systems and services with smartphone apps.

In my 40-plus years in fire protection, I have learned that electrical contractors (ECs) sell and install the lion’s share of fire alarm systems in medium- to large-size buildings. Most of these contractors also finish the installation, pass the acceptance test and move on to the next project.

There is no question today’s fire alarm systems are more complex than they were 20 years ago. More panels are addressable, which means programmers, installers and inspection and testing personnel need to be better qualified.


Do you know everything you need to about the specialty electrical systems you install? What about the new technology that appears on the horizon? Probably not, since you cannot build a profitable contracting business by being a jack of all trades and master of none.

More on Systems

 
Lubrication Rooms with Pits, Receptacles Above Suspended Ceilings and More

CODE CITATIONS Article 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations Article 230 Services Article 240 Overcurrent Protection Article 250 Grounding Article 310 Conductors for General Wiring Article 400 Flexible Cords and Cables Article 406 Receptacles, Cord Connectors and Attachment Plugs (Caps) Arti


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Integrated Building Systems Today...and Tomorrow

Chances are, the buildings of tomorrow will be smarter, safer, more automated and computerized than the buildings in which we now live, work, shop and play. Sunlight will be used with maximum efficiency to boost indoor lighting. Lighting will work in concert with security.


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Lessons (to be) Learned

Consider the following statements summarized from a description of a “recent” blackout: • Needles on meters in utility control centers were swinging wildly.


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Calling All Contractors

Call centers have come full circle, mainly because they have helped to redefine and reshape customer service functions for a wide variety of businesses. Due to competition within almost all market sectors, customer service has become a defining business function.


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Electrical Power - A Right We All Treasure

North America received an earsplitting “wake-up call” last month when the biggest blackout in U.S. history darkened eight American states and two Canadian provinces, driving millions out in the streets and closing more than 100 power plants across the country.


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The Mysterious dB of Fiber Optics

Whenever tests are performed on fiber optic networks, the results are displayed on a meter readout in dB. Optical loss is measured in dB while optical power is measured in dBm. Loss is a negative number (like -3.2 dB), as are most power measurements. Confused? Many fiber optic techs are too.


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Extreme Installations

Often an electrical contractor will be asked to install a fire alarm system in what some would define as a “harsh” environment. In these cases, the contractor must be ready to satisfy his or her customer’s request for an adequate, code-complying system.


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