LL: How does the installer’s adherence to these codes protect the end-user?
KK: End users usually do not possess the knowledge or expertise to establish building codes for security devices. In fact, courts often apply the standard of “the least sophisticated consumer” when considering what a consumer should reasonably know. This low standard imposes further obligation on the contractor, licensed or not, to suggest, design and perform at minimum trade practices, and these practices are defined by codes and other legislation.
The NEC (National Electric Code) offers a reference for the installation of safe and reliable wiring. Electricians are trained in the National Electric Code, and must be able to display knowledge of the NEC in order to obtain an electrician’s license. Although electronic security utilizes both line voltage as well as low voltage, the majority of us who install security leave the line voltage side to electricians and concentrate on the low voltage portion of the systems.
Veteran alarm installers will remember the term “demarcation point” which was used to refer to the point at which the telephone company network ends and connects with the wiring at the customer premises. We never touched the telco’s side.
The hard-wired connection of line voltage to electronic security equipment is the demarcation point for many low voltage, security and network installers.
Many states require individuals who install low voltage wiring and equipment to get a license. Yet other states will mandate certification with a recognized security training curriculum. Where a license is required, knowledge of the NEC is a requisite.
Whichever is your state, or whatever is your state of mind; it seems that acquiring as much knowledge as possible would be a good idea.
One avenue to acquiring a familiarity with the portions of the NEC with pertain to low voltage is a self-training course entitled “Understanding NEC Requirements for Limited Energy & Communications System” published by legendary code expert and trainer Mike Holt. Mike Holt’s articles on the NEC also appear in the trade press and on-line. It is based on the 2011 NEC. The NEC is revised every 3 years and the last revision is 2011, with the next 2014.
The book covers:
- Article 90 INTRODUCTION TO THE NATIONAL ELECTRIC CODE
- Article 300 WIRING METHODS
- Article 725 REMOTE-CONTROL, SIGNALING, AND POWER-LIMITED CIRCUITS
- Article 760 FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
- Article 770 OPTICAL FIBER CABLES AND RACEWAYS
- Article 800 COMMUNICATIONS CIRCUITS
- Article 810 RADIO AND TELEVISION EQUIPMENT
- Article 820 COMMUNITY ANTENNA TELEVISION (CATV) AND RADIO DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS
The text comes with loads of test quizzes so you can determine of you’ve absorbed the lessons, and also help you to prepare if a licensing exam in your professional future
Mike Holt Enterprises is a family- run business that specializes in training products for the electrical industry. Their commitment is to serve the needs of the Electrical Professional. This is their sole focus and they are the top publisher in the industry that strictly focuses on Electrical Education. One important factor for this success is Mike Holt’s ability to break extremely technical concepts down into an illustrated format while also focusing in on the most essential elements of those rules.
Belynda Holt Pinto, COO, put it this way. “We are dedicated to changing people’s lives through electrical education.”
For more information, visit www.mikeholt.com.
Beside the National Electric Code, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) also publishes standards used by the electronic security industry:
NFPA 80 The Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives regulates the installation and maintenance of openings in walls, floors and ceilings against the spread of fire & smoke within, into or out of buildings. These basic guidelines for fire rated doors, and doors in the path of egress provide the rules AHJ enforce and the levels of safety to which we aspire. The most recent version was published in 2010.
The most-asked question is: “Where does it say I can’t drill a hole in a fire door?”