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 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