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All you have to do is turn on the TV or go online to see that now more than ever there is a need in an emergency situation to find a way to instruct people inside a building on what to do to stay safe. Three hundred and fifty years ago the prime danger was fire, which was the case when London was ravished by a conflagration that destroyed 13,000 buildings. Remarkably, only a few people perished as the warning system of the day, a ringing bell and people yelling out warnings in the street, proved sufficient. Even when fire alarms became the norm in the 1900s, the piercing screech and flashing lights told you there was a fire, but not where the fire was, where the exits were, or even if you were heading into the inferno.

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With generator season upon us, it makes sense for electrical contractors to be aware of what generator inspectors will be looking for. Here is an excellent article that appeared in a publication produced by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), as penned by Andrew Browne. We feel it is well worth the read.

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When a first responder enters a burning building, whether it’s an office building, warehouse, hospital, or any other structure, there is immediately an array of dangers that must be faced. Some are obvious; fire, smoke, weakened structures. But there is also another factor that can imperil a first responder’s life… the inability to communicate with each other and with the outside world.

When an emergency arises, it’s imperative that first responders are able to communicate with each other inside your building and with their command staff outside the building, through the use of their two-way radios. Unfortunately, many buildings have areas where the signal strength for these systems isn’t strong enough to ensure they’ll work properly. This can occur due to the building materials, architectural design, construction features (Low-E windows), and overall size, all of which can absorb or block radio communications. As a result, buildings that do not have complete coverage in certain places are at risk of emergency responders not being able to communicate.

Fortunately, there are now ways to make sure emergency personnel can keep on top of what’s going on, and be able to communicate with important parties both inside and outside a disaster.

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