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Meeting Industry Standards for Low Voltage Installations

by Teddi Strassburger on June 21, 2023

Woman in Data Center Server RoomIt probably comes as no surprise to you that the standards and regulations for data cable installations are constantly changing. As new technologies are created and brought to market, the standards evolve to provide guidance to help you stay up-to-code. It's important to stay on top of the latest developments in these standards to ensure that your low voltage cable installations remain compliant. In this blog post, VELCRO® Brand explains how their solutions help you maintain that compliance. As you'll see, there are several standards of which you should be aware. 

ANSI/TIA Low Voltage Cable Installation Standards

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is a group of industry professionals who work together to advance and maintain cutting-edge information technology. They are accredited by ANSI as a leader in establishing technology standards.

The TIA maintains TIA/ANSI cable installation standards to provide you with recommendations on how to best structure cable pathways and the spaces in which you install cable. All told, the goal is to ensure that the technology the cable supports can operate efficiently. The TIA uses the most current knowledge available on datacomm technology and the low voltage systems that support them, and these standards apply to low voltage cable installers working on telecommunications and data systems. 

AVIXA Standards for Pro AV Rack Building

Now, let's look at standards for AV technology. AVIXA is an association of experts within the audio/visual technology industry. Similar to the TIA's work for telecommunications and data systems, AVIXA determines industry best practices for AV systems. They also provide cable installation guidelines specific to equipment racks. 

By providing guidelines on proper cable installation and spacing on AV racks, these standards keep AV technicians informed on the latest cabling best practices. This, in turn, enables them to provide top-notch service to their customers.

BICSI Standards for Data Cable Installations

You're probably pretty familiar with BICSI! BICSI is a global network of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals who come together to create and update guidelines for the installation and maintenance of data systems. These standards are used in a lot of applications, including datacomm, Pro AV, security, and other networks that require low voltage cabling. 

NEC Fire Codes & Standards to Protect Workers

The National Electric Code is a very important standard to know about. The National Fire Protection Act specifies what equipment to use and how to install it in locations like plenum space. Adhering to these guidelines help you protect office workers from exposure to smoke, fire, and electrical hazards. 
Keep in mind that municipal, state, and federal laws may vary. All of the guidelines are intended to ensure a safe and reliable system and building.  

How Do VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Assist?

Now that we've explored all of those standards, let's look at a solution that can help you meet them! Did you know? VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® ties can help your installations align with all of these standards! Many cable standards specifically call out the use of hook & loop to prevent damage to cables and optimize data flow. Here is how this solution applies to all of the standards mentioned above: 
  • ANSI/TIA-568.0-D says: “Cable stress, such as that caused by tension in suspended cable runs and tightly cinched bundles, should be minimized. Cable bindings, if used to tie multiple cables together, should be irregularly spaced and loosely fitted (easily moveable).”
  • The BICSI ITSIMM manual says: “Hook and loop straps should be used to prevent a change in the physical geometry of the cable that typically results from use of nylon cable ties.”
  • AVIXA F502.01:2018 says: “Hook and loop shall be used on all category cables, coaxial, and fiber cables. Spacing between cable ties shall be three (3) times diameter of the loom or 10 cm (~4 inches), whichever is smaller and unevenly spaced.”
  • National Electrical Code says: “Cables shall be supported by straps, staples, hangers, cable ties or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable. Nonmetallic cable ties and other nonmetallic cable accessories used to secure and support cables shall be listed as having low smoke and heat release properties.”

It’s important always to be aware of your local cable installation standards and building codes. VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® ties won’t make installations completely compliant, but they will significantly help. Contact your local Accu-Tech representative to learn more, or visit the VELCRO® Brand page on our website. 

Topics: BICSI velcro hook and loop industry standards

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