Typically, contractors know what codes and standards are in force in their market areas, and if they don’t, they should find out. But often this is limited to the code they use the most, the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Most contractors install strobe lights to comply with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code by simply using a combination audible-visible appliance everywhere one or the other is shown on the plans.
Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Following this logic and considering the fabric and technology available today, our employees should never be cold if they are properly dressed.
Have you ever seen a poor fire alarm system installation? Perhaps the original installer executed an incompetent design, or an incompetent installer poorly installed a proper design. In either case, the bottom line profitability of the installer will suffer.
We have all had experience with smoke detectors. Specifying the right smoke detector for the application will improve the reliability of fire alarm systems tremendously. Of course, the detector must be installed correctly to prevent problems.
Recently, while witnessing a company performing a periodic test and inspection of a large, old fire alarm system, technicians discovered the system’s trouble light was illuminated. A fire alarm’s trouble light is never insignificant.
Last month, this column introduced the new Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) Chapter 24 that will debut in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72-2010, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. It references another new chapter, Chapter 12, Circuits and Pathways.
Quality, timely healthcare is an absolute must. Whether we are dealing with an aging population or younger people who have experienced health problems, everyone deserves medical assistance when they need it. This is true whether they find themselves confined to an institution or their own home.
During the 2008 presidential election, we heard a lot about the need for change. Over the last few months, we all experienced change of a different nature, a kind none of us wanted. Our faith in those who ran or are running large financial and industrial institutions has dropped to new lows.
Although notifying large groups of individuals simultaneously is not new, it is relatively new to combine emergency communications for non-fire alarm emergencies with fire alarm systems. A siren that warns of an approaching tornado is an example of a simple mass notification system.
Every day, we encounter both good and bad customer service. If you fly at all, you already know that most airlines have forgotten what the words “customer service” mean. You are met by a surly gate agent who is upset about having to assist you.
As an electrical contractor, you field calls from prospective customers asking for a fire alarm system installation. Interestingly, although you may be knowledgeable in these installations, you may rarely ask the owner about his or her fire protection goals.
There is a destination in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley for those who want to try their luck in a setting more upbeat than fire station bingo, but less glittery than Las Vegas: the Potawatomi Bingo and Casino.
Elecrical contractors become very comfortable having someone looking over their shoulder to judge their work. Most of the time, the electrical inspector fills the role of judge. Many electrical inspectors were once licensed electricians.