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December 7, 2003

                             ET NEWS 
================================================================
        NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR ENGINEERING TECHNICIANS
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Issue No. 128         http://www.etnews.org            12-7-2003
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Contents
--------
- News
- ET Journal
- NICET Test Dates
- Fire Alarm Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements

================================================================
NEWS 
================================================================

------------------
January 27-29, 2004 Portland, OR - Sponsored by Oregon AFAA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
*NEW* -> Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III/IV)  <- *NEW* 


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PASSING on the lessons from Pearl Harbor
San Francisco Chronicle
... On Dec. 7, 1941, six Japanese aircraft carriers positioned
200 miles north of Oahu launched 181 attack planes toward the
slowly waking port of Pearl Harbor and at U.S. military airfields
elsewhere on the island. The two- stage attack killed 2,403
Americans, including 68 civilians -- men, women and children ...
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/12/07/MNGKC3I1
I31.DTL

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WOMAN injured in Villa Maria blaze
Pascagoula Mississippi Press, MS
... Mary Cushen, who lives on the 10th floor, said she was
waiting in the first floor hallway to board the bus when the
fire alarm sounded. ...
http://www.gulflive.com/mississippi/index.ssf?/base/news/1070709
34280640.xml

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ALERT Manila resident ’ s call to 117 saves lives , properties
ABS CBN News, Philippines
... Fire Officer 3 Marlon Banaag, radio operator of the Fire
Alarm and Radio Division, received the information and dispatched
firefighters to the scene. ...
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?section=Metro&OID=39872

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FIRE alarm forces out residents
The Indiana Digital Student
... The eighth false fire alarm of the semester at Read led to
the displacement of residents for more than 75 minutes late
Wednesday and early Thursday as ...
http://www.idsnews.com/story.php?id=20230

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CITY Hall cited for numerous violations
Providence Journal Bulletin (subscription), RI
... When a fire alarm is pulled, the City Hall elevator
automatically descends to the first floor and remains there until
the alarm is reset. ...
http://www.projo.com/westbay/content/projo_20031205_cr5fire.32aa
d1.html
(free registration required)

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VERNON investigating town codes officer
Oneida Dispatch, NY
... ready for a certificate of occupancy to be issued with the
exception of smoke detectors being installed in certain areas and
a small glitch in the fire alarm ...
http://www.oneidadispatch.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10604480&BRD=
1709&PAG=461&dept_id=68844&rfi=6

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CHARIHO 95-PERCENT IN COMPLIANCE WITH FIRE REGULATIONS, SAYS ... 
Westerly Sun, RI
... The changes will probably include the need for fire-rated
doors, fire-rated walls, more exit and emergency lighting and
fire alarm upgrades," he said. ...
http://www.thewesterlysun.com/articles/2003/12/03/news/news6.txt

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PEOPLE are reluctant to leave burning buildings
SierraTimes.com
... Businesses are doing many things now that do get people out
quicker," Proulx said. “By combining the fire alarm with strobe
lights and then with a ...
http://sierratimes.com/03/12/03/ar_blanton.htm

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LIBRARY evacuated after broken fire alarm goes off
Arizona Daily Wild Cat, AZ
Sgt. Eugene Mejia, UAPD spokesperson, said that technicians had
to override the entire system to stop the alarm. "They allowed
people ...
http://wildcat.arizona.edu/papers/97/68/01_6.html

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CITY pays hefty price for false fire alarms
Chicago Tribune (subscription), IL
... While quick to stress that fire alarm systems save lives,
emergency workers say that needlessly racing to repeated false
alarm calls puts lives at risk. ...
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0312020125dec02,1,2
21591.story?coll=chi-news-hed
(free registration required)

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Job Opportunities
-----------------
If you are a Burglar Alarm or a Fire Alarm Tech contact
Dean Reed mailto:bubba@oz.com

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I'll see you in Happyrock this week.
http://tinyurl.com/y4gn

Have fun!

Mike
mailto:mbbaker@etnews.org

================================================================
ET JOURNAL 
================================================================

VOLTAGE; LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH?
-----------------------------

One of my pet peeves is the use of the term "low voltage" to
differentiate a fire alarm system from a 120V branch circuit.
Rather than clear up the confusion NFPA 70 adds to it ...

NFPA 70-2002 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment.
A(1)(b) LOW Voltage. By special permission, smaller working
spaces shall be permitted where all uninsulated parts operate at
not greater than 30 volts rms, 42 volts peak, or 60 volts dc.

NFPA 70-2002 110.34 Work Space and Guarding.
(B) Separation from LOW-Voltage Equipment. Where switches,
cutouts, or other equipment operating at 600 volts, nominal, or
less are installed in a room or enclosure where there are exposed
live parts or exposed wiring operating at over 600 volts,
 nominal, the HIGH-voltage equipment shall be effectively
 separated from the space occupied by the LOW-voltage equipment
 by a suitable partition, fence, or screen.
(C) Locked Rooms or Enclosures. The entrances to all buildings,
rooms, or enclosures containing exposed live parts or exposed
conductors operating at over 600 volts, nominal, shall be kept
locked unless such entrances are under the observation of a
qualified person at all times.
Where the voltage exceeds 600 volts, nominal, permanent and
conspicuous warning signs shall be provided, reading as follows: 
DANGER — HIGH VOLTAGE — KEEP OUT

ARTICLE 250 Grounding
X. Grounding of Systems and Circuits of 1 kV and Over
(HIGH Voltage)

328.2 Definition.
MEDIUM Voltage Cable, Type MV. A single or multiconductor solid
dielectric insulated cable rated 2001 volts or higher.

490.2 Definition.
HIGH Voltage. For the purposes of this article, more than 600
volts, nominal.

517.64 LOW-Voltage Equipment and Instruments.
(A) Equipment Requirements. LOW-voltage equipment that is
frequently in contact with the bodies of persons or has exposed
current-carrying elements shall be as follows:  
(1) Operate on an electrical potential of 10 volts or less, or

551.2 Definitions.
LOW Voltage. An electromotive force rated 24 volts, nominal, or
less, supplied from a transformer, converter, or battery.

620.5 Working Clearances.
(D) LOW Voltage. Uninsulated parts are at a voltage not greater
than 30 volts rms, 42 volts peak, or 60 volts dc.

820.4 Energy Limitations.
The coaxial cable shall be permitted to deliver LOW-energy power
to equipment that is directly associated with the radio frequency
distribution system if the voltage is not over 60 volts and if
the current supply is from a transformer or other device that has
energy-limiting characteristics.

... Ad nauseum. In my mind, the low voltage - high voltage
threshold in NFPA 70 is 600V. Any electrical system operating at
less than or equal to 600 volts AC or DC is considered to be a
low voltage system and any electrical system operating at more
than 600 volts AC or DC is considered to be a high voltage
system. So, why do we insist on identifying a fire alarm system
as low voltage? Most would answer with "Well, my Simpson(r)
model 260 indicates that your system is energized at 24VDC,
therefore it's considered to be a low voltage system."
Au contraire mon frere! More to the point, a fire alarm system
is either a power energy system or a non power energy system,
which is described within NFPA 70 article 760 and Table 12a/12b
in Chapter 9.

In Oregon, where I live and rust, a fire alarm technician is
required to be a licensed electrician; either a General
Journeyman, Limited Energy, Restricted Energy, or Supervising
electrician. Nowhere on my license do I find the words
"low voltage". If I read the Oregon Revised Statutes and Oregon
Administrative Rules, I find that my license restricts me to work
on power limited systems of 100VA or less or non power limited
systems of 1000VA or less.


Next week in ET Journal
-----------------------
I'll whine, er, write about another of my pet peeves;
TAMPER SWITCH or VALVE POSITION SWITCH?

================================================================
NICET TEST DATES 
================================================================

OREGON
------

OR1 PCC Sylvania, Portland;
Test 11/15/03. Postmark deadline 9/27/03.
Test ??/??/04. Postmark deadline 12/1/03.

OR2 Clackamas Community College, Oregon City;
Test 11/15/03. Postmark deadline 9/27/03.
Test 1/24/04. Postmark deadline 12/6/03.

To view the entire list of test centers visit
http://63.70.211.210/cfdocs/nicetschedule1.cfm

================================================================
FIRE ALARM CLASS SCHEDULE 
================================================================

------------------
December 11, 2003 Philadelphia, PA-Sponsored by PA Regional AFAA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_Philadelphia_Dec2003.pdf

------------------
December 12, 2003 College Park, MD - Sponsored by MD-DC-VA AFAA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_MD_Dec2003.pdf

------------------
December 17, 2003 Seattle, WA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_Seattle_Dec2003.pdf

------------------
January 13-15, 2004 Houston, TX - Co-sponsored by TX AFAA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
*NEW* -> Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III/IV) <- *NEW* 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_ADV_Houston_Jan2004.pdf

------------------
1/17, 1/31, and 2/14/2004 New York City-Conducted by Empire AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I/II)
Contact Mike Jennings at 201-963-4030 for more information. 

------------------
January 20-22, 2004 Albuquerque, NM
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
*NEW* -> Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I/II) <- *NEW* 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_IntFA_Albuquerque_Jan2004.pdf

------------------
January 27-29, 2004 Portland, OR - Sponsored by Oregon AFAA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
*NEW* -> Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III/IV) <- *NEW* 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_ADV_Portland_Jan2004.pdf

------------------
January 29-30, 2004 Seattle, WA - Conducted by Dean Reed
------------------
NICET I & II Fire Alarm Test Preparation Seminar
http://www.etnews.org/pdf/NICET_I&II_DeanReed_JAN04.pdf

------------------
February 24-26, 2004 St. Louis, MO
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
*NEW* -> Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I/II) <- *NEW* 
More information is forthcoming.

------------------
March 10-11, 2004 Wichita, KS - Sponsored by KS AFAA
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Alarm Systems
More information is forthcoming.

------------------
April 6, 2004 Chicago, IL
------------------
*NEW* -> Plan Review Seminar <- *NEW* 
*NEW* -> Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I/II) <- *NEW* 
More information is forthcoming.

================================================================
COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
================================================================

Engineering Technician info http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos112.htm

ET News is published weekly and if possible, delivered on Sunday

ET News php/MySQL web site by Doug Hockinson http://phpvs.com

The NICET acronym found herein refers to http://www.nicet.org 
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CERTIFICATION IN ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES

The AFAA acronym found herein refers to http://www.afaa.org 
AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM ASSOCIATION "celebrating 50 years!"
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Some information may be found within this email message that is
reprinted with permission from one or more of the following;
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code(r), NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm
Code(r), and NFPA 101(r) Life Safety Code(r), Copyright(c) NFPA,
Quincy, MA 02269. This reprinted material is not the complete and
official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is
represented only by the standard in its entirety. 
================================================================
                 Michael Baker & Associates Inc
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Some information may be found within this web site that is reprinted with permission from one or more of the following: NFPA 70 National Electrical Code®,NFPA 72® National Fire Alarm Code®, & NFPA 101® Life Safety Code®, Copyright© NFPA, Quincy, MA 02269.

This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.