Bob Dolph Answers Questions on False Alarms, New Cabling Requirements

Q: I am about at my wits end with some of my customers and false alarms. The local police are fining the customer and I can’t get the customer to understand how to correctly use their alarm panel. Any suggestions?
A: Have you ever heard of the CP-01, panel false alarm standard? This is a new alarm control equipment standard from the Security Industry Association (SIA)
The new panels have many features that help reduce the chance your customer will have a false alarm. Check with some of the major manufactures for a CP-01 listed panel.
Also, have someone in your office dedicated to spending some extra time with your problem customers and help them better understand the operation of their alarm system. It will take some extra time, money and dedication to work on these problem false alarm customers, but it will pay back in the long run with a better community image.
Who knows? You might end up winning the new and prestigious Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award given out by the security industry every year at ISC West.

Q: I went out to quote a commercial installation the other day and the consultant told me that I was required to remove all the old cable in the ceiling that was not being used. He said that this was code now. What the heck is he talking about?
A: One of the new areas that was added to NEC 2005 requires the removal of abandoned cable in U.S. commercial buildings. I have been told that there is over 45 billion feet of plenum cable in place in U.S. buildings. The National Electrical Code (NEC) now requires that all abandoned copper and fiber cable be removed. The fear is that this can be extra fuel in the case of a fire and would add considerable toxic vapors to the air. This is an opportunity to get some extra money from the owner to have it removed. If the consultant is suggesting this, then there is a good chance the AHJ in your area is requiring this now.
A word of warning: Make sure that any cable retained for future use in your project is clearly labeled at both ends. This will help to identify what is truly abandoned and what should stay. Make sure all understand what you are contracting to remove. The last thing you want is a mix-up and remove the wrong cable.

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About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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