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29
Jan

Labeling

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Security systems of all kinds require cabling. Cabling organization requires proper labeling. Without proper labeling, technicians and other responsible parties will quickly get lost trying to figure out where all the associated cables go. The vast majority of the jobs I have surveyed that were done by other firms lacked proper cable management and labeling, which resulted in an unintelligible mess. In the most extreme example I worked on while young, a facility overseas had over 3,000 security devices with the cabling combined in a series of interface cabinets and there was little to no labeling of any kind. It took us months to discover what went where and to add labels to each cable.

Proper cable labeling starts with a plan. Spreadsheets and other simple tools can be used to help organize the information and provide a road map that can be followed as the cable is installed and/or identified. When laying out a labeling scheme, it is important to be consistent with regards to nomenclature and other details. For example, if an alarm contact has the format of ALC-001, then all labels for alarm contacts should follow suit so the device type can be quickly determined by the label.

Labeling takes time and organization, which some people don’t want to devote during the initial system installation. Some customers are becoming more aware of the lack of labeling, but most are satisfied to simply see the system work and allow the technicians to leave without taking notice of the cable. I have even noticed this reluctance on simple installations like the cable television in my house, which has only three feeds throughout the home and none of the cables are labeled. The take away is that the time it takes to label cable is exponentially less than it takes to later identify where the cables are connected.

Have a great week and we will see you here at The O next week.

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Sean Crain is founder and CEO of Orion Security Solutions (OSS). Prior to starting OSS, Sean spent over eight years with the U.S. Department of State as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Officer working in nearly 40 countries on 6 continents around the world including Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and Columbia.



He received advanced training in the techniques and methodologies of counter intelligence and anti-terrorism in order to carry out responsibilities which included designing, installing, and maintaining state-of-the-art security solutions to protect national security information, U.S Embassies and other sensitive U.S. facilities, and diplomatic personnel, including U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State. Sean was also called upon to design and implement security protocols and systems which included video surveillance, intruder detection, access controls, locks, perimeter security, and assessments. He also played an integral role in writing the U.S. Department of State security policies for post communications centers, controlled access areas, and building management systems in U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and inter-agency facilities worldwide.