Before you do anything, Safety First

Safety First


Before you do anything, step back and evaluate the potential risks and take steps to ensure that you do not injure yourself, anyone else, or damage any property.


Consult your Local Laws and Codes


These guides are just that; guides.  You must check with your local authority having jurisdiction, which could be your local building code enforcement or your fire department.  Please ensure that you check with them before you start.



Electricity Can Kill You; Avoid Electrical Lines!

Never run cable within 2-inches of electrical lines, lighting, fire alarms or other power lines or devices.   Never use staples or clamps to attach low voltage wiring to conduits or other cables.  You can easily knick those cables and create an electrical hazard or electrical strike.

Turn the Breaker OFF

Anytime you are drilling or cutting into a wall, ceiling or area that you can not clearly see what is behind your work area (e.g. inside a wall, ceiling) you want to turn the power off.  You do NOT want to drill into any electrical lines.  You also will want to drill slowly and do not force your saw or drill, the obstacle could be your water line! 

Stay Clear of High Voltage Devices and Lines

Never run any cable within 6 feet of a circuit breaker or meter.  A minimum 5-inch distance is required from any fluorescent lighting fixture or power line over 2 kVA and up to 24 inches from any power line over 5 kVA. If unsure about the a device or line, consult an electrician. Route cable away as far as you can from large motors, generators, induction heaters, arc welders, x-ray equipment, and radio frequency, microwave or radar sources. NEC/NFPA 70, Article 800-52

Protect Cables from Future Physical Damage

In the future you may want to put a nail or screw in and don't want to puncture your cables, so when a cable, raceway, or soft conduit (anything you can puncture) is installed parallel to framing members (joists, rafters, or studs), furring strips, or crown molding, keep the cable at least 1-1/4 from the edge. NEC 300.4(D)

Tie Your Cables - Don't leave them Hanging

You can connect cable directly to a surface with straps, staples, cable ties, hangers, or similar fittings, but you have to secure it somehow. NEC 800.24; 300.11

Plenum Ceiling require Plenum Cable and Ties

If you are going to run cables through an area which is used by your heating, air circulation, or air conditioner systems (such as above a drop ceiling in an office), you must use Plenum rated cables, which have a special insulation that has low smoke and low flame characteristics. You can identify a non-plenum area by verifying that the supply and return vents use ducts.  If you are unsure, please contact your HVAC contractor.  When securing cable in Plenum required areas, make sure your straps, cable ties, and similar fittings also are plenum rated. NEC 830; NFPA 90A

Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Depending on the task, always wear PPE.  This includes, but not limited to, Safety glasses/googles, hearing protection, gloves, dust mask.




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