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. 

Sturgeon Electric Co. Inc. in Henderson, Colo., has been in business since 1912. It expanded into low-voltage work in 1984, when private bank exchange companies asked if it would be interested in performing their installations.


Although security has been necessary to protect people and property for decades, it is now considered part of the holistic experience with factors such as connectivity, convenience and integration with other systems.


Renovating commercial buildings that require fire alarm system updates presents many challenges. First, the upgrade that is designed and installed must comply with NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The challenge comes from determining which edition should be followed.

Ideal Networks LanTEK III certifier

Commercial datacom networks must be certified that they are correctly installed and meet industry performance standards. That makes certification testers a basic tool for installers, and manufacturers must plan ahead to have test instruments available as standards change.

More on Systems

 
Reusing Fire Alarm System Cable

Many contractors work on building tenant fit-outs or reconfigurations of existing spaces where an existing fire alarm system requires updating. Often, a fire alarm equipment salesperson will lure the contractor into thinking it is OK to reuse the existing system’s wiring and cable.


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Changing Expectations: Getting More From Access Control

Access control is one of the most prevalent and longstanding methods of securing entrances, exits and areas within protected premises.


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Appetite for intelligence

Phones and Apps: Taking Programming out of Smart-Home Installations

The simplicity and ubiquity of home automation means opportunity for ECs. For one thing, today’s systems come ready to install, and contractors can learn installations in a matter of hours rather than weeks. For many ECs, it has been a welcome transition.



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Circuits And Pathways

Beginning with the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, all of the “styles” of circuits were deleted, and four “classes” were added. A new chapter, Circuits and Pathways, was added during the reorganization of this code.


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Notification Know-How: A Look at Notification Requirements

Many designers of the notification portion of a fire alarm or mass notification system (MNS) seem unaware of the specific performance requirements for each type of appliance as required or allowed by NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.


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Keeping It Professional

Based in San Jose, Calif., Integrated Communication Systems (ICS) has been building its success as a low-voltage integrator for 15 years. The 80-employee firm, founded in 2002 by Aaron Colton, president and CEO, serves low-voltage integration needs in San Francisco and the Bay Area.



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Fluke Networks round cable stripper
Cool Tools: Tools For Copper

Correctly preparing and connecting copper wiring in a building’s structured wiring system requires special skills and the right tools. A single faulty connection can bring down an entire network.



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