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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Industry Standards for Home Security and Surveillance Systems

You will need to know the key standards and codes involved in the installation and configuration of home security and surveillance systems. Installers use these standards when configuring the security system component location and cabling plan. Although numerous standards are available for guidance, local building codes are the final authority when seeking inspection approvals during the construction phase.

The National Electrical Code

Two sections of the National Electrical Code (NEC) describe requirements for security and surveillance systems. NEC Article 725 describes class 1, 2, and 3; remote control; signaling; and power-limited circuits, and NEC article 760 describes fire protective signaling systems.


The local building codes are the final authority for determining construction and installation requirements for wiring, smoke detector location, and connectivity.

The Telecommunications Industry Association and the Electronic Industries Alliance

The ANSI/TIA/EIA standards organizations have only recently addressed the need for residential security standards. In 2002, work was completed by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) 42.2 working group on ANSI/TIA/EIA-570A Addendum 1, which covers residential alarm and security cabling. A summary of the important points covered in this standard are as follows:

  • Security system wiring should be installed while the building is under construction and prior to dry wall installation.

  • All low-voltage wire runs that are run parallel to AC power cables should be separated by at least 12''.

  • All wiring must terminate in an alarm or a control panel grounded to a true earth ground.

  • An RJ-31x jack is required for connection between the off-premise telephone line and the alarm panel to provide priority for the alarm system.

  • Home run wiring is required from all sensors/detectors to the control panel.

  • Passive sensors need only two wires, and active sensors require four wires.

  • 22-gauge or larger wire should be used for connecting sensors to the control panel.

  • When security wires are crossed with power wiring, they must cross over at a 90° angle.

  • Video surveillance systems require RG-59 or RG-6 coaxial cable with 95% copper braid.

  • The ANSI/TIA/EIA 570A addendum for security cabling, points out that the location of sensors and cabling devices must align with the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association, the National Electrical Code, and the National Fire Alarm Code.


The ANSI/TIA/EIA 570A standard requires at least 12'' of separation between parallel runs of security wire and AC power wiring. You should also remember that, when security wire and cabling is crossed with AC power wires, the crossover must be at a 90° angle.

Underwriters Laboratories

The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a nonprofit organization that has established standards for all components of security systems and their installation. If the product has the UL label, the device meets or exceeds UL's requirements.

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