Cables and Conduits for Audiovisual Systems
The one thing that ALL technical systems have in common is wire. The rules governing the use of flexible cords and cables for temporary AV production are largely limited to feeder cabling and speaker wire, where the power levels are most likely to cause fire or physical harm. The rules governing such applications can be found in the National Electrical Code (NEC) Articles 640.42, 520.10, and 525. The rules governing cabling for use in permanent installations are much more stringently defined in the NEC. Further, many municipalities employ local building codes that extend or exceed these standards. One particularly strict jurisdiction is Las Vegas, wherein all cabling must be installed in metallic conduit. Following the 1980 fire in the MGM Grand (now Bally’s) which claimed the lives of 87 people and injured nearly 800 more, Clark County took a firm stance on the protection of all electrical systems installed within their buildings. Though not all Counties are as strict, the systems designer must become familiar with the local codes as a standard element of the design process.
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