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Cable Installation Guide


Protect yourself and others by following these basic safety guidelines:

Wear safety glasses. If you're working in a crawl space or above a dropped ceiling, you never know what might fall from above or what you might lean into in the dark.

Use common sense with ladders. Don't stand on the top two steps. Don't over-reach - move the ladder as you work. Make sure that anyone on a ladder has a spotter at all times.

Wear protective clothing. Long-sleeved shirts and pants will protect you from minor cuts and from materials you don't want next to your skin, like fiberglass. Don't wear loose clothing.

Don't be careless when lifting. Bend your knees and keep your back straight. Don't be shy about getting help if you need it.

Don't use power tools unless you know how to use them. If you use a saw or drill, work from a stable position. To avoid making dust fly when you drill, place a damp sponge over the surface to be drilled and then drill through the sponge. Watch out for lengths of extension cord that are easy to trip over. Don't leave tools lying in places where someone might trip over them.

Be wary of electrical cable. Category 5 cable systems, like phone wire, carry low-voltage signals instead of high-voltage power, so they don't pose the fire risks that high-voltage (power) cable systems do. Nevertheless, you'll probably be working near power cable. Don't touch it,especially in ceilings and walls - you never know when it might be live. Know where the nearest fire extinguisher is.

Know local code. Building codes may prohibit drilling or cutting holes in fire walls or ceilings. Also, some parts of a building may contain materials like asbestos or PCBs that must be handled only by trained technicians. Check with your site administrator to be sure you don't compromise safety in the building. If you find damaged insulation, don't run cable in that area. If you do drill through walls, you may need to fill the holes completely with a noncombustible patching compound. If your plan includes routing cable through spaces where air is circulated, you may need to use fire-rated (sometimes called plenum-rated) cable.

Glossary of Terms