• Confounded Fiber Optics Cabling

    Jul 15, 2024 | Jim Hayes

    Every technical field has its confusing jargon or enigmatic technology, and fiber optics is no exception. Let’s test your knowledge of the most commonly misunderstood principles.

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  • Wiring for Healthcare National Electrical Code

    Jun 15, 2024 | Michael Johnston

    In the National Electrical Code, electrical wiring rules for healthcare facilities are often more restrictive than general wiring requirements in chapters 1–4. Many of these restrictive requirements center around redundancy of systems and continuity of power. For example, the branch circuits serving patient care spaces require two separate equipment grounding conductors in compliance with Section 517.13. The idea is to install a minimum of two, and thus always be assured of having one.

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  • Heat Detector Requirements Life Safety Systems

    Jun 15, 2024 | Thomas P. Hammerberg

    Although heat detectors are not used in the majority of fire alarm systems, it is a good idea to understand the applications and requirements. Test your knowledge to see how well you know them.

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  • Call Before You Dig—But Don’t Stop There! Cabling

    May 14, 2024 | Jim Hayes

    Every contractor knows to call 811 before starting work on an underground cable plant installation, but that’s not all. The Excavation Safety Alliance’s “Pre-Excavation Checklist” is included in its Excavation Safety Guide and Directory, which I used as a reference for this month’s quiz.

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  • One Month, All Kinds of Safety Safety

    May 14, 2024 | Wesley L. Wheeler

    May is a busy month for safety. From mental health awareness to electrical safety, professionals across the board are busy addressing safety and training for employers and employees. From May 6–10, we celebrated Construction Safety Week and the OSHA National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. Test yourself below on a variety of safety issues. And to all safety professionals, thank you for all you do to protect our construction employees.

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  • Wire-Type EGC Sizing Requirements National Electrical Code

    Apr 15, 2024 | Michael Johnston

    The National Electrical Code contains minimum requirements, which means users must do at least that much. Sometimes the Code is modified to be more restrictive and specify larger sizes of wire-type equipment grounding conductors (EGCs) due to factors that require larger than table minimums. This is a case where the specific rules in Article 430 amend the general EGC sizing requirements in Article 250, and for good reason.

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  • 2023 NEC Fire Alarm Requirements Life Safety Systems

    Apr 15, 2024 | Thomas P. Hammerberg

    Test your knowledge of the fire alarm requirements in the 2023 National Electrical Code.

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  • Cabling Evolution for Ethernet Networks Cabling

    Mar 15, 2024 | Jim Hayes

    Structured cabling in building communications has been driven mainly by one network—ethernet—which has become the most widespread network standard. Ethernet turned 50 last year, making it an appropriate time to review how it was created and how it has driven the development of cabling.

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  • Emergency Management Response Safety

    Mar 15, 2024 | Wesley L. Wheeler

    Everyone should be familiar with emergency management systems and response. OSHA will be releasing new emergency management response regulations in the near future. How much do you know about this topic?

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  • How Should the NEC Be Applied? National Electrical Code

    Feb 15, 2024 | Michael Johnston
    Section 90.3 provides two key elements that help users with applying the National Electrical Code. This section provides the general arrangement, by chapter and chapter titles, and more importantly, indicates how the NEC should be applied to installations and systems. Chapters 1-4 provide the general application rules and 5-7 may modify or amend the general rules (often to be more restrictive and address specific situations, locations, conditions and equipment). 
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  • NFPA 72 Fire Alarm Requirements Life Safety Systems

    Feb 15, 2024 | Thomas P. Hammerberg
    This test of your general knowledge provides an opportunity to better understand requirements of NFPA 72-2022.
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  • Electric Vehicle Safety Safety

    Feb 15, 2024 | Wesley L. Wheeler
    With all the emphasis on electric vehicles and expanding infrastructure around green energy, let's consider some safety-related topics. It is important to understand the different types of EVs and EV charging equipment available, as well as installation considerations. 
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  • Planning for Disasters Cabling

    Jan 15, 2024 | Jim Hayes

    Natural disasters wreak havoc with communications networks because they can cause widespread damage to cable plants and communications systems. Restoration can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Can advance planning help mitigate the problems?

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  • Equipment Marking and Identification National Electrical Code

    Dec 15, 2023 | Michael Johnston

    Many NEC requirements for equipment marking and identification directly relate to personnel safety and establishing electrically safe working conditions as addressed in NFPA 70E. It seems that requirements for “in sight from” equipment disconnects are often followed by exceptions that allow disconnects to be remote, but they must be lockable in the open position. Test your knowledge here.

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  • Emergency Communications Systems Life Safety Systems

    Dec 11, 2023 | Thomas P. Hammerberg

    Test your knowledge of the requirements for emergency communications systems in the 2022 NFPA 72.

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  • Making Connections Correctly Cabling

    Nov 15, 2023 | Jim Hayes

    For a fiber optic link to work, all fibers need to be connected properly—otherwise known as polarity. That sounds simple, but it can become complicated, depending on the components you use. How well do you understand polarity?

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  • Equipment Requirements National Electrical Code

    Oct 13, 2023 | Michael Johnston

    Do you know the National Electrical Code requirements for equipment? Use this quiz to test your knowledge.

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  • Supervising Station Alarm Systems Life Safety Systems

    Oct 13, 2023 | Thomas P. Hammerberg

    How well do you understand the requirements for supervising station alarm systems based on the 2019 NFPA 72? Take this quiz and test your knowledge.

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  • Modern High-Density Fiber Optic Cables Cabling

    Sep 15, 2023 | Jim Hayes

    Fiber optic cable’s purpose is to protect the fibers during its installation and lifetime. Some modern cable designs have evolved to include more fibers in smaller cables that require more care in handling during installation. What’s changing with these new cables?

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  • Hurricane and Crisis Response Safety

    Sep 15, 2023 | Wesley L. Wheeler

    August, September and October are the most notorious months of hurricane season. While hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, the peak each year typically occurs around Labor Day. What precautions should you consider when a storm is approaching? Remember, if ordered by authorities to evacuate, follow those directions to protect yourself from what could be the devastating effects of wind, rain and flooding.

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