Making Sure Your Installations Are Firmly Grounded

For both safety and compliance reasons, the proper bonding and grounding of equipment and systems is essential. Find out what is required by the most recent codes and how to satisfy picky inspectors.

Remember, if you are cited by an inspector the reason may not always be correct and resources such as the UL White Book can help you defend your position. Also be sure to ask the inspector for a NEC article reference when he/she challenges your supposed installation violation.

While we are discussing the latest NEC cycle of 2011, it is not uncommon for AHJs and inspectors to be slow to transition to newer codes. They may still be adhering to older cycles such as 2005 or 2008, so make sure to you know what version of NEC they are using.

In the past, you could only reference the NEC if you had purchased a copy from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). One of my biggest beefs has been that if you are required to comply with this code, you should not have to pay for standards material to reference it. Great news … you can now read several versions of NFPA 70 and other standards online for FREE. Go to and select NFPA 70 in the List of NFPA Codes & Standards section.

Products Can Simplify the Process

To conclude this month’s topic, I urge learning to use new products that help you conform to requirements such as bonding and grounding. An example is the ERITECH intersystem bonding termination bar (IBTB) from Solon, Ohio-based ERICO, whose fasteners and connectors I have often talked about.

When visiting that Web site, be sure to check out the code compliance chapter in the ERICO Low Voltage Fastener 2011 catalog (LT0405) and the IBTB intro video. This will give you better insight into the applications.

Bob Dolph has served in various technical management and advisory positions in the security industry for 30+ years. To share tips and installation questions, E-mail Bob at Check out his Tech Shack blog.

<p dir="ltr" align="left">Mike Holt Enterprises offers a wealth of educational and training books, DVDs and other materials aimed at electrical professionals and others allied to the field. Courtesy Mike Holt Enterprises</p>Tech Talk Tool Tip

One of the best ways to stay in tune with changes in the National Electrical Code (NEC) is through quality training and reference material. That is why this month I am featuring one of my favorite programs: the Mike Holt Enterprises Series of illustrated guid

I have personally attended Mike’s code and license preparation programs. This material is well worth a serious look for upgrading the professional arena of your business. Make sure to check it out at 


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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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