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.
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.
All electrical contracting companies—especially those involved in low-voltage work—rely on technology. Sprig Electric considers technology to be one of its most important competitive advantages, along with efficiency and personal service.
A good fire alarm system design becomes a function of how well you understand fire-protection principles as well as the requirements of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC).
The evolution of intelligent building system technology has triggered shifting roles for contractors and integrators, and the choices they make in their own specializations over the coming years can mean the difference between winning contracts and keeping customers or becoming less relevant.
With the increasing use of fiber optic cable in structured wiring, many electricians experienced in low-voltage copper work are extending their skills to include fiber. Working with fiber requires training and the right tools and testers to correctly install and maintain fiber optic cable.
Since its humble beginnings in 1981, Metropolitan Electrical Construction in San Francisco has grown to a staff of almost 300 (250 field staff and 40 office employees) by ensuring that it can offer a number of competitive advantages to the marketplace.
Too often, contractors seem to assume that only Article 760 of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), applies to fire alarm installations. I have witnessed many jobs where this has been the case. In fact, other NEC sections also apply.
When small companies promote their businesses, they often mention that their size makes them more efficient. One electrical contractor that would take exception to that claim is Santa Clara, Calif.-based Redwood City Electric.
Imagine a home where security cameras can distinguish between a dog, person and car and then alert you on your smartphone. Or, envision cameras in your refrigerator that enable you to check food inventory while grocery shopping.