What Will Your Electrical Contractors Need This Summer?

electrical worker at poleAccording to TED magazine, electrical contractors had it pretty tough this past winter. But that environment is beginning to change right along with the weather.

States like Pennsylvania, are gearing up for the more active summer months. “Being based in Central Pennsylvania meant our business was pretty flat throughout this past winter,” says Bruce Seilhammer, an electrical construction group manager. “We were able to keep all of our guys busy, but nothing really ‘wild’ in terms of heavy workload or new projects.”

Seilhammer is optimistic about the upcoming months. “We’re seeing a couple of large projects hitting us, which is nice,” he says. “We’re also adding to our backlog. That’s a big difference over the winter months, when we were going week-to-week with virtually no backlog of projects at all.”

To read more about how the experts see spring and summer shaping up, click here:

Construction Concerns: Fire Doors

Fire doorsAccording to a recent article in FIRE ENGINEERING magazine, fire-rated doors and walls are considered passive fire protection, and often get little publicity. When fire-rated doors do receive publicity, it is often because of a failure resulting from poor maintenance or from having been blocked open before the fire. Fortunately, these incidents are rare due to conscientious building and fire inspectors and the building owners and managers who maintain them as required by the building and fire codes, and by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 80, Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.

Most building and fire codes require testing and listing of fire-rated doors by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or another independent testing agency, according to NFPA Standard 252, Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies. This standard is also listed as UL 10B Fire Tests of Door Assemblies. Older fire door assemblies may have been tested to ASTM E-2074 Standard Test Method for Fire Tests of Door Assemblies, which was identical to the NFPA and UL standards at the time; and which was withdrawn by ASTM in 2007.

Fire-rated doors can provide a valuable line of defense for firefighters by separating:

  • parts of a building that house hazardous processes or hazardous material storage from ordinary hazards;
  • an older section of a building complex from a newer section;
  • processing areas from warehousing;
  • or a part of the building with automatic fire sprinklers from a part that has none

To read the entire article, click here:

The 10 Worst Grounding Mistakes You’ll Ever Make

outlet 2Proper grounding and bonding prevent unwanted voltage on non-current-carrying metal objects, such as tool and appliance casings, raceways, and enclosures, as well as facilitate the correct operation of overcurrent devices. But beware of wiring everything to a ground rod and considering the job well done. There are certain subtleties you must follow to adhere to applicable NEC rules and provide safe installations to the public and working personnel. Although ground theory is a vast subject, on which whole volumes have been written, David Herres, in his article in EC&M magazine, asks us to take a look at some of the 10 most common grounding errors you may run into on a daily basis. The first is:

1. Improper replacement of non-grounding receptacles. Dwellings and non-dwellings often contain non-grounding receptacles. It’s perfectly fine to leave the old “two prongers” in place. But because an intact functioning equipment ground is such an obvious safety feature, most electricians tend to replace these old relics whenever possible.

There are several ways you can complete this upgrade, many of which are erroneous and strictly against the Code. For example, never apply the following non-NEC-compliant solutions:

  • Hook up a new grounding receptacle on the theory that this is a step in the right direction. This can lead future electricians and occupants to believe they are fully protected by a non-functioning ground receptacle.
  • Connect the green grounding terminal of a grounded receptacle via a short jumper to the grounded neutral conductor. This practice is totally noncompliant and dangerous because when a load is connected, voltage will appear on both the neutral and ground wires. Therefore, any noncurrent-carrying appliance or tool case will become energized, causing shock to the user, who is typically partially or totally grounded.
  • Run an individual ground conductor from the green grounding terminal of a grounded receptacle to the nearest water pipe or other grounded object. This “floating ground” presents various hazards. It is likely that this ground rod of convenience will have several ohms of ground resistance so that, in case of ground fault within a connected tool or appliance, the breaker will not trip — and exposed metal will remain energized.
  • Run an individual ground conductor back to the entrance panel and connect it to the neutral bar or grounding strip. This solution is somewhat better, but still noncompliant. Any grounding conductor must be within the circuit cable or raceway. One objection is that an individual conductor could be damaged or removed in the course of work taking place in the future.

To read the correct ways to handle this type of situation, when you find yourself working with non-grounded receptacles, and to review the remaining nine examples, click here:

Politician Lobbies for Fire Sprinklers in Every Home

Following a devastating, residential fire in New Jersey that displaced more than 1,000 Sprinkler 1people, the developer plans to include sprinklers and other fire protection systems in its future developments.

The company, Avalon Bay, which built the 408-unit complex in Edgewater,NJ, will include more sprinklers and other safety features in its future housing developments in Maplewood and Princeton, New Jersey. “I’ve said all along that this [is] in their best interest to go above and beyond the current code, given what happened in Edgewater, so I do think this is a positive development,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert.

If one legislator gets his way, homes across New Jersey will be protected by these safety measures, particularly home fire sprinklers. As a recent guest columnist for The Star-Ledger, New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski defended his decision to reintroduce the New Home Fire Safety Act, which would require sprinklers in new, one- and two-family homes.

Read what Wisniewski has to say by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.

Should alarm dealers worry about Verizon’s decision to sunset 3G service?

celltowerLast month, Gigaom reported that Verizon has begun the process of phasing out its 3G network in an effort to free up more space for 4G-LTE service. Verizon is still in early stages of making this transition, however, and a company spokesman told CNN Money that the company plans to keep its 3G network running for a few more years. Still, the move by yet another wireless communications provider to repurpose part of their spectrum could be worrisome for alarm dealers.

However, unlike AT&T’s decision to sunset 2G service, a move that will officially become complete as of Dec. 31, 2016, Verizon’s shuttering of 3G should have little or no impact on the alarm industry, according to Shawn Welsh, vice president of marketing and business development for Telular Corp. To read more click here:

Nearly 40 Percent of Christmas Tree Home Fires Occur in January

The gifts have been opened, the ornaments are starting to sag, and the fallen pine needles Tree on fireare multiplying daily – these are clear signs that it’s time to remove the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations from your home.  The longer they’re in your home, the more they dry out, making them a significant fire hazard. NFPA statistics show that nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although these fires aren’t common, when they do occur, they’re more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, as compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home structure fires.

While many people choose to keep their Christmas trees and holiday decorations up for a few weeks after the holidays, the continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out trees after the holidays presents increased fire risks. In addition, NFPA offers these tips and recommendations for safely removing electrical lights and decorations from Christmas trees, and ensuring that they’re in good condition for the following year:

Home Robberies High During Holiday Season

The need for homeowners to protect their homes and belongings is greater than ever.
All House robberyover the country, burglaries are on the rise due to the vulnerability of homes and the easy accessibility that most homes offer to burglars. So, the question that arises is how homeowners can act to protect their homes and belongings from being stolen, particularly during the holiday season.

According to the website, homeowners can begin by looking at their home with the eyes of a burglar. In other words, consider the location of the home from various angles. Is the home isolated or surrounded by other homes? Does it provide secluded nooks and dark corners for a burglar to hide in or escape from? Is the house adequately lit or relatively dark? Burglars will look at these things when identifying potential targets.

Next, homeowners need to consider the all-important factor of home security. Does the house have proper security systems in place? It is absolutely essential for owners to securely lock up all doors and windows when leaving the house. Moreover, homes with sliding glass doors and windows are particularly vulnerable to burglaries and therefore, homeowners should take adequate steps to secure these. A simple yet measure is to use key-operated pins or grips to secure such doors and windows. Since the house should always be well lit to create the impression of people within, one should leave a light on inside before leaving home.

Since holidays are boom time for burglars, it is important that homeowners take preventive steps to protect their house and belongings. For more information visit:

The Secret Service Could Learn From Alarm and Security Professionals

According to an article in Security Sales & Integration magazine, the most recent fiasco at the White House, where a man claiming to be an Iraq War veteran successfully climbed over the fence and then ran directly inside the White House unimpeded, simply defies the criticality regarding foreseeability of this threat. It shouldWhite House have been immediately intercepted and neutralized using advanced electronic security, physical security and law enforcement tactics.

The author asks, “Shouldn’t the White House doors have automatically locked, assuming magnetic locks were in place, as soon as alarms signaled a breach of the fence and/or a breach on the property itself? And who has been charged with the duty to service, maintain and if required, replace outdated security system technologies which are no longer reliably operating at the White House? ”   To read the entire article, click here:

New England Electrical & Alarm Expo Huge Success

Hundreds of electrical and alarm professionals pack the room

Bill Donahue, president of Crown Supply (Providence, RI & Milford, MA), ADS (Cranston, RI & Milford, MA) and The Lighting Shoppes (Providence, RI & Milford, MA) and his hard-working team have successfully launched the first New England Electrical & Alarm Expo, and it was by all indicators a smash hit.

Staged at the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwin River Event Center in Lincoln, RI on September 11th, there were over 50 vendor booths on the show floor representing more than 400 electrical, low-voltage, lighting, tool and alarm manufacturers. The floor was packed all afternoon with upwards of 600 registered attendees. Equally most of the nine training sessions that were offered were filled to overflow, prompting the adding of more chairs.

The exhibitors were ecstatic with the turn out “Congratulations on hosting a very good and successful show,” said Patrick Cuddy, New England Regional SalOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAes Manager for Klein Tools, Inc. “Klein was happy to partake in the event and the booth was busy the entire show, right up until the end. “We made substantial sales and created a lot of future interest.” According to Paul Hoey, New England Sales Manager for Napco Security, “This was a great show. We do a lot of shows and they start to feel a little stale. But this EXPO felt fresh and exciting.” And Paul Lepre from David Role & Co, said, “I couldn’t believe when I walked in and saw the layout; how really professional it looked. As a first show I wasn’t expecting anything this nice. And I am thrilled that they registered over 600 attendees. I think everyone did a great job pulling this together.”

There were over 18 winners announced during the show ranging from members engineering firms, security contractors, electrical contractorsd, facility maintenance teams, property management companies and others.

From the opening bell to the show’s wrap-up, the excitement never wavered, as sales were made, deals put in place, and new business relationships struck upOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA. “We are both overwhelmed and humbled at the excellent turnout for a first-time event,” said Bill Donahue, President of Crown Supply. “The response from the industry was off the charts, and I have already had people coming up to me saying they want a bigger booth next year. I also want to thank the teams of associates from Crown Supply and ADS of RI who worked hard to bring this all together, their efforts were outstanding. Particular thanks to Jim Cunningham, our Marketing Manager at Crown Supply, Jay North and Kurt Goding of Crown Supply, and Tom reilly, our general manager at ADS of Rhode Island. We could never have accomplished all that we did without the massive group effort these folks lead.”

To view more photos from the New England Electrical & Alarm Expo, click here:

Don’t Miss the Electrical & Alarm Expo of the Year!

3 hiThe summer is going fast, but that only means we’re getting closer and closer to the New England Electrical & Alarm Expo. This event is geared toward Electrical & Alarm Professionals, Architects, Engineers, and Designers & Contractors.

This premier industry event, which takes place at the fabulous Twin River Casino Event Center in Lincoln, RI on Thursday, September 11, 2014, will showcase hundreds of products and manufacturers representing the alarm and surveillance industries. Among the companies in attendance will be Honeywell-Gamewell Eaton, NAPCO, DSC and many others. For a list of exhibitors, visit .    

Sponsored by Crown Supply of Providence, RI and Milford, MA, visitors will get the opportunity to view the latest products and innovations (available at Special Show Pricing) and partake in hands-on demonstration courtesy of nearly 50 exhibitors representing over 400 manufacturers. There will also be seminars led by key industry speakers where you can earn valuable CEU and AIA credits. Seminars will include such topics as national electric code changes, the latest in wireless technology, new ventilation codes affecting the construction industry, and many others.  For a complete list of training sessions and information on how to register to attend, visit

The show hours are 1pm-4:30pm for training sessions, and 3:30pm-7:30pm for the exhibit floor. This Expo also has a unique twist. ATTENDEES that are existing customers of Crown Supply or ADS of RI will be able to PLACE ORDERS FOR PRODUCTS AT DEEP DISCOUNTS at the show. Check out the “Purchase & Pop” feature where every qualifying purchase will be eligible for special pricing (just “pop” the balloon and discover what your special pricing will be). All who attend will also automatically have their name placed in our raffles which will run every 15 minutes, with prizes that include laptops, big screen TVs and much more.

Visitor attendance to the New England Electrical & Alarm Expo on September 11, 2014 is free but you must register at