While the home-automation market is still in a bit of a Wild West state, the combined factors of industry consolidation and consumers’ growing interest in interoperability are forcing some order into the chaos of available products.
In its basic form, commissioning means testing every device, process and procedure in an integrated systems solution to ensure the final specification operates as planned and according to the owner’s design.
I have often described the reliability of a fire alarm system installation as dependent on four elements: design, equipment, installation and maintenance. I have also explained that the last two elements contribute the most to a fire alarm system’s operational reliability.
I’m sure all of you have run into an issue such as this when installing a fire alarm system: One authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) wants one thing, and another AHJ wants exactly the opposite. What do you do? You can’t make both happy.
Last month, we looked at how dark fiber is tested to determine its capability of supporting newer, faster transmission networks. Once dark fiber has been tested and its usability confirmed, communications systems can be connected.
Some cabling industry stakeholders predict the imminent death of copper cabling, while others disagree. However, most agree that fiber optical networks are taking a large bite out of the new network market.
“Where will you be 10 years from now if you keep on going the way you are going?” Napoleon Hill, one of the great writers on success, famously asked this question. When you apply it to the fire alarm and signaling business, it should give you pause.
Designers, contractors and authorities having jurisdiction often misunderstand the term “survivable.” They presume it means the installer has chosen to use either a Class A wiring scheme or has placed the circuits in metal raceway.
In my last article, I reviewed changes to fire alarm requirements for the occupancy classifications in the 2015 International Building Code (IBC). This month, I review changes to the general fire alarm requirements as well as the new section on carbon monoxide (CO) detection requirements.
Intrepid Electronic Systems operates from two locations in California—Oakland and San Jose—with 25–35 employees at each location. Founded in 1997, the company focuses only on low-voltage systems.
“I have been doing this kind of work myself since 1976,” said Kurt Brinkman, owner.
Backup power is critical for almost all, if not all, facilities. Design of a backup generator system and its capacity depends on the purpose of a business or facility. Hospitals need a complete backup in the event of a power outage; the lives of patients can depend on it.
In the quest for greater energy efficiency, the focus on buildings intensifies. This concentrated awareness is understandable as residential and nonresidential buildings account for a large portion of society’s total energy consumption.
As a contractor, you bid on numerous fire alarm system projects based on plans and specifications developed by an engineer. You assume the engineer has discussed such things as quality and reliability with the owner because the specifications focus on those issues.
Many electrical contractors (ECs) view the energy services market as mature with little potential for repeat business. This is especially true for energy conservation and efficiency projects that involve either a particular system component upgrade or an entire system replacement.
With today’s increasingly complex security systems, many organizations are still using technology from multiple manufacturers that often cannot communicate. Physical security information management (PSIM) software can offer a solution.