A few years back, if you had described an emerging technology that enabled lighting to sense varying conditions within a building and seamlessly integrate with the building automation system to return everything to the optimal use of energy and the optimal conditions for occupants, I would have said, “You’re crazy!”
But today, we know this technology isn’t merely emerging—it’s in full force, and it’s evolving daily in the form of Power over Ethernet, or PoE. As those of us in the electrical industry have come to learn, PoE technology is leaving the confines of the communication world and expanding into the electrical industry as electrical equipment has become much more energy efficient.
In my latest “In Compliance” column, I talk about how the latest edition of the NEC (2017) addresses two key fire hazards associated with PoE equipment:
- The threat of the electrical equipment starting a fire
- The threat the electrical equipment poses during a fire
And it doesn’t stop here. There’s much more we need to learn about PoE as it relates to electrical equipment installations. Answering questions about electrical shock hazards, fire ignition issues, flame spread characteristics, what the addition to a building’s fuel load might look like, and what products of combustion might be added, will help us effectively protect the world from potential hazards, and be done in a way that allows this technology to grow.