Electrical Contracting News (ECN) October 2016 - Page 42

FIRE ALARMS CAUSE FOR ALARM Catherine Nelms of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) explains how electrical contractors can position themselves ahead of the competition by fi tting fi re alarms. An electrical contractor who can also double up as the fi re alarm installation guy is like hitting the jackpot to a potential client. Why? They only have to hire one guy to do two jobs. And that, my friend, makes your skills in demand. Skills required Adding the skill of being able to install a commercial fi re alarm system to your current skillset has the potential to double your earnings. Simply because you are able to do two different jobs. However, due to certain legal requirements and training that may be required, many electricians never consider this option. Yet those that do are miles ahead of the competition. But how is being an installer of fi re alarms different to being an electrician? First off, fi re alarms are extra low voltage. Electricians deal with low voltage, between 500-50V. Extra low voltage is below 50V. All fi re alarms tend to work at less than 50V, typically around 40 or less. There are transferrable skills between the two occupations, which means that it is reasonably easy to get started. However, the main difference is that electricians worry about the energy discharge, the trip times, the insulation, and the loop impedance in the installation system; fi re alarm engineers worry about the way smoke reacts, and the integrity of the cables. Commercial fi re alarm systems are always separate from the electrical installation, partly because of the electromagnetic resistance, because it can interfere with the loop systems and the data going round. The other thing that makes the job of an installer different is that you have to consider things like beams, lights and fi ttings that may prevent the smoke getting to the detector. A fi re alarm system is a life safety system. Its purpose is to make sure that people are aware that there is a fi re in the building and escape. An electrical system is not really a life safety system but if you wire it wrong, you can damage someone’s life. Which is why learning about the requirements to do the job is so important. To get you started, here are fi ve steps to increasing your potential: 42 FIRE ALARMS CAUSE FOR ALARM Catherine Nelms of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) explains how electrical contractors can position themselves ahead of the competition by fitting fire alarms. A n electrical contractor who can also double up as the fire alarm installation guy is like hitting the jackpot to a potential client. Why? They only have to hire one guy to do two jobs. And that, my friend, makes your skills in demand. Skills required Adding the skill of being able to install a commercial fire alarm system to your current skillset has the potential to double your earnings. Simply because you are able to do two different jobs. However, due to certain legal requirements and training that may be required, many electricians never consider this option. Yet those that do are miles ahead of the competition. But how is being an installer of fire alarms different to being an electrician? First off, fire alarms are extra low voltage. Electricians deal with low voltage, between 500-50V. Extra low voltage is below 50V. All fire alarms tend to work at less than 50V, typically around 40 or less. There are transferrable skills between the two occupations, which means that it is reasonably easy to get started. However, the main difference is that electricians worry about the energy discharge, the trip times, the insulation, and the loop impedance in the installation system; fire alarm engineers worry about the way smoke reacts, and the integrity of the cables. Commercial fire alarm systems are always separate from the electric [[[][ۋ\HX]\HقH[XXYۙ]X\\[KX]\B][[\\H]H\[\[H]H[[ H\[‚]XZ\H؈و[[[\Y\[\][H]HۜY\[ZBX[\Y[][]X^H][H[H][H]X܋H\H[\H\[H\HYHY]B\[K]\H\XZH\H][H\H]\H]\H\H\H[HZ[[[\\K[[XX[\[H\X[HHYHY]H\[B]Y[H\H]ܛۙ[H[[XYBY[ۙx&\YKX\HX\[˜X]H\]Z\[Y[H؈\œ[\ܝ[ ][H\Y \H\H]H\[ܙX\[[\[X[ M \H[\\8$PK[ LǨ M LNB