Low Voltage Codes and Video Surveillance

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 22, 2014

Even 'low voltage' electrical work can be dangerous. Because of that, there are specific rules that apply to those who handle low voltage systems, including video surveillance, to ensure the work is safe, reliable, and is not a risk to innocent bystanders.

In this note, we explain how the National Electric Code impacts video surveillance work.

**** '*** *******' ********** **** *** ** *********. ******* ** that, ***** *** ******** ***** **** ***** ** ***** *** handle *** ******* *******, ********* ***** ************, ** ****** *** work ** ****, ********, *** ** *** * **** ** innocent **********.

** **** ****, ** ******* *** *** ******** ******** **** impacts ***** ************ ****.

[***************]

Low ****age *******

*** ** ******* **** **** *** '*** *******' *********** ** used ********** *** *****, *** **** *** ****** ********* *******, some *** ********** ** ******* ******** ********* ** ***. *** example:

  • **: *** ***** ******* ******* ***** ****** ******* ******* ** - **** ***** ** ** *** - **** ***** **
  • ***: *** ******* ********* ******* ** ************ ******* ** ** more **** ** *****.

** ** *** '**' *** ******* *********** **** ***** ***** cover, ********** ** ** **** **** ~** ***** (**************** *** **** ******** ** ** ** ***) *** ************ **** ******** (*.*., **** ********). ** *** US, '*** *******' ** **** ** ******** **** ******** ******** systems, ** ******* ********** *** ********* ** **** **** ** volts **** ****** ********** *********.

NEC: ******** ******** *****

** *** **, *** ***** ** *** ******* **** ** defined ** ***'******** ********** ****', **** ***** ** **** **. *** **** ****** ******* ** **** **** *** ******** in ****, **** *** ******** ******** ***** ***** *****. 

************ ****** ******* ********* **** ************ * (******* ***) ** ******, ****** "************** ******** *** *********"*** *** ******* ** *** **** ** ***** ******* *** equipment ** ********* ****: ********, ****** ******, **** ****-******* ********, or ******* ***** ***** **** ********* ** *********-***** ************.

Specific ******* ** ***** ************

** **** *******, ** ********* *** **** ****** ********* ********* video ************ ******. *******, ******* ** *** ****** **** *** be ****** *** ******** *********. *** ***** **** ****** *** ***** as **********, *************** **** **** ************* ***********.

**** ** ********* ***** ************ ** ***** *****:

*********

** *******, *** ******* **** ** ******** ******** ** ** ***** ground ** ****, ********* ***** *** ****** ***** *******. (***.**) *** cable *** ******* ********* ******** **********, ********* ******* **** ** outside *****, *** ********** **** ** ******** ******** ***** ** reenters *** ********. ********* *** ****** ***** ** * ****** rod ** ***** ****** ** * ******** *** ********** ** many ********** *******, *** *** ****** ****** ** **** ****** allowed ****** ***** ** ******** *****, ****, *** ***** **** used.

********* ******

** *******, ******* **** ** *** ** ******* *******, ** hooks, ** ******** ** **** ** *** ********** ***********. "****** to ********** ********* ***** *** ** ****** ** ** ************ of ************* ****** **** ******* ****** ** ** ******* ** panels, ********* ********* ******* ******." (***.**) **** ********, *** *** corollary ******** ********** *** ***, *** ***** ***** ********** *** practice ** ****** **** **** ******* ***** ********** ** ****** rated ** ***.

****** *******

*** ****** *** ** **** ***** ***** *****, ********** ***** run **** ****** ******, *** ******* ********** ********** *** *******. (starting ** ***.***) ****** ******, ********* ** ********, *** **** of *** *********** ****** ** * ********. ******* ***** ***** are ****** **** *** **** **** **** *** **** ** the ****, **** *** ****** ***** * **** ** ****** quickly. ** ****, *** ********** ********* ** ***** **** ******** into **** ***** **** ** ***** ** ******* *** ****** of ***** ***/** *****. 

**** ******* **********

**** ****** **** ** *** ** ***** *" ***** **** high ******* ******* (***.**) *** *** ****** ********** ******** (***.**(*)). Variations ** **** ************* *** **** ********** *** ***, ***** affected ** ******** ****, ******* ****, *** ***** ****.

****** *****/*****

******* * **** ******* ******* ** ********, *****, *** *****. Not *** **** ******** ***** ************ ********** ** ***-***** ******* poles, ***** ****** ******** **** ********** ** ***** ** *** type, ********* ***** ********** ************ *******.  *** ****** **************. ** any **** ********** ** **** *********, **** ****** *** ** used *** ******* ***** ******* *** ************ ****** ********: "******** service masts *** **** ** **** *** *** ******* ** ***** service **** **********. ** ********, ****** *** *****, **, ****, ** CATV ****** ** ******** ** *** ******** ******* *****." (***.**, 820.10(c))

***** ******* * / ******* *** ("*************") ********* ******* ** video ************, **** *********** *** **** ** ***** ************ ** computer ********, ***** ****** **** *** '********* *** *** ******* of ********** ****' *** '**** ** ********* ** ********** **** Chapter * / ******* *** ("********* *** ***** ******* ********") ** the ****. (***-**(*)(*)).

Spotty ********

***** ******** ** *** ******** ** *** ** ****** *** expands ***************, ***** ******* ** ******** *** ****** ****. *** image ***** ******* *** ****** ** ******** ** *******, **** the **** **** ***** **** ******:

*** *** ******* ****, ******* ******* ******** *** ********* *****, with ******* ****** ******** ** *********** *** ********* ****** **** installation ***********. *** ***** ********** **** ** ***** ***** ** particulars ** * ******** **** **** *** ***** ** ***** versions.  *******, ** **** ********** *** *********** ******* ** ******** citations ** '******** ** *******' *** ********* **** ********* **** *** **** *******, ******** what ******* **** *** ********.

**** **** ** **** ******, "***** ********" ********, ******* **** no ********* ********** ** *** ******* ** ********** *** *** particular ********* **** *** ****** **** *** **** ** **** to *** ****.

*** **** ******, *** ******* '***** **** **** ***** *** *****' ********** **** ** ***** ** *****.

Following *** *****

**** *** ******* ** ******** ***** **** ********* ****** *******, the *** ****** ** **** ************ ******* (*** *** *** voltage ******** ******) **** *** *** *** *** *** ** or **** ** ******* **** **. *** ***** ** ******* are *** ****** ******** *********** ********* ***** **********, *** ** *** ******** ** ****** ****, ***** ********** or ********* ****** ****** *** **********.

Comments (9)

""Electric service masts can only be used for the support of power service drop conductors. In addition, cables for radio, TV, CCTV, or CATV cannot be attached to the electric service masts." (810.12, 820.10(c))"

Wow, I guess our local CATV and Telco companies are either non-compliant or have specific wavers...

The likely situation is the local AHJ says they can do this as a local exception, presumably because they are specially trained on working safely around high voltage.

Do they own the poles?

I'm pretty sure SDG&E (the utility) owns the poles and Cox, Time-Warner, AT&T and the rest lease access.

Roger that. Though not apparently the case here, the adage 'possession is 9/10s (of) the law' rings true with pole usage.

Also, the AHJ may not recognize Article 800 as applicable to surveillance, but instead uses Article 700 which does not include this same citation.

Are we talking masts or poles here? Poles are routinely leased out. The mast is where the electric for the facility makes its entrance, and they do indeed need to be separate from low voltage utilities.

In this building, for example, the electric comes in through a weatherhead on a short mast in the lower half of the building, but the fiber and coax for the internet, along with the Sirius/XM antenna enter through a sepearate location.

Carl is correct. You have to lease the space from the local utility company then seek permits. Nearly all poles are owned by a utility company though some are owned by the city or DOT in a given area.

Seeking permits from the utility companies, particularly to lease space on one or two poles takes MONTHS in some cases.

UK: The terms usually defines power supply systems between 50 - 1000 volts AC or 120 - 1500 volts DC USA: Low Voltage primarily focuses on distribution systems of no more than 49 volts.

Low Voltage U.S. < 50 V

Low Voltage U.K. > 50 V

There is not much hope for humanity if this can happen...So what do they call < 50 V in the U.K. ?

Isn't there a lot of equipment out there in home automation and worship houses for pa equip/music amplifiers that run 70 V pulsed DC? I always thought of that as LV...

Public service utilities are exempt from NEC. You will see very little in the NEC regarding the transmission and installation of such. I am not sure who governs them.

Low voltage can mean many different things to different trades. Low voltage to an electrician is below 480 volts. This is why the NEC uses the term Limited Energy.

Also, low voltage is not exempt from licensing or permitting! It does depend on the AHJ which is usually the state.

http://www.nationaltrainingcenter.net/upload/wysiwyg/Forms-PDFs/NSCA%20Licensing%20Guide.pdf

For example, no licensing or permitting is necessary in my state of Michigan for low voltage unless burglar alarm or fire alarm is involved.

Many other states do, in fact, have licensing and frequently licensing/permitting. Hawaii, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington,and Oregon are all states where licensing/permits are required.

If you are installing 10 cameras on a private business you are unlikely to draw any notice from inspectors. However, if it's a multi-million dollar project where other trades are performing work (particularly fire alarm) be prepared for fines.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
Outdoor Camera Mounting Hardware Guide on Feb 21, 2019
Mounting cameras outdoors can be challenging, requiring understanding different types of equipment and methods. In this guide, we teach this...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Cisco Meraki Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on Feb 13, 2019
Cisco Meraki says their cameras "bring Meraki magic to the enterprise video security world". According to Meraki, their magic is their management...
Dahua Intercom Tested on Feb 07, 2019
Video intercoms are a growing market with video surveillance manufacturers expanding into this niche. IPVM is continuing its series of video...
Hikvision HDTVI Power Over Coax Tested on Feb 05, 2019
After years of delay, Hikvision's Power Over Coax (PoC) HDTVI models are finally shipping, aiming to make HD analog installs as simple as PoE, with...
8MP HD Analog Tested (Dahua / Hikvision) on Jan 30, 2019
HD analog has promised higher resolution for years, but has lagged substantially behind for years. Now, both Dahua and Hikvision have started...
Designing Access Control Guide on Jan 30, 2019
Designing an access control solution requires decisions on 8 fundamental questions. This in-depth guide helps you understand the options and...
Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprisingly complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

From The Basement To Buried Behind Chinatown: ISC West Emerging Technology Zone on Feb 22, 2019
What does ISC West think about 'Emerging Technology'? Well, last year, they put those companies in the basement. This year, they moved them up to...
Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
Outdoor Camera Mounting Hardware Guide on Feb 21, 2019
Mounting cameras outdoors can be challenging, requiring understanding different types of equipment and methods. In this guide, we teach this...
HID Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 21, 2019
HID favorability results were strong, in the 2019 IPVM integrator study of 200+ integrators, with a net +62% and low negativity as the table below...
First US State, Vermont, Bans Dahua and Hikvision on Feb 21, 2019
The first US state, Vermont, has issued a ban on a number of Chinese and Russian manufacturers including the world's 2 largest video surveillance...
ADI 'SAVE BIG' On FLIR And Hikvision Examined on Feb 20, 2019
One is a major US defense supplier. The other is owned by the Chinese government. But you can "SAVE BIG" on both at ADI. In this note, we...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Massive Leak Of Chinese VMS Provider Exposes Xinjiang Surveillance on Feb 20, 2019
A subsidiary of China’s claimed largest VMS provider is tracking the precise location and ethnicity of millions in China’s Xinjiang region,...
Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Sales Cuts At Rasilient on Feb 19, 2019
Over the past 2 years, video surveillance storage specialist Rasilient has expanded its workforce significantly, aiming to build its own branded...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact