Topic: Premises Site Preparation For Fiber Optics  Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

Premises Site Preparation For Fiber Optics 

    Before beginning installation of fiber optic cables and hardware in a premises installation, the site must be properly prepared for the installation of fiber optic cables, hardware and transmission equipment.

Premises Support Structures   
    There are numerous structures used for the securing of fiber optic cable in premises installations making generalizations difficult. Cable may be hung on appropriate hangers, laid in trays or pulled in conduit or innerduct.

Cable Trays

    Install support structures for fiber optic cable installations before the installation of the fiber optic cable itself. These structures should follow the guidelines of TIA/EIA 569-A and NECA/BICSI 568-2001.  Allow for future growth in the quantity and size of cables when determining the size of the pathway. Follow all cable bend radius requirements.
    Do not install a fiber optic cable in a conduit or duct that already contains cabling, regardless of the cable type.  Existing or new empty ductwork can be modified to accept several different installations by the placement of innerduct within it.   

Removal of Abandoned Cables
    Unless directed by the owner or other agency that unused cables are reserved for future use, remove abandoned optical fiber cable (cable that is not terminated at equipment other than a connector and not identified for future use with a tag) as required by the National Electrical Code or other local codes. At the discretion of the owner of the site, the contractor may be requested to remove other cables (e.g. copper communications or power cables) in addition.
    Removal of cables is much more time consuming than installation, as each cable must be identified and carefully removed to prevent damaging other cables. No cable should be cut for removal unless it is positively identified as one to be removed.
    All removed cables should be recycled properly as most cable has significant scrap value, not only for any copper conductors but for other metallic elements and even plastics.

Fire Stopping
    All premises cabling requires firestopping at all penetrations. Telecommunications firestopping shall comply with applicable codes and standards, including TIA/EIA 569-A-Annex A and NECA/BICSI 568-2001.

fire stopping

    All penetrations shall be protected by type-approved firestops. Fire stopping compounds and devices shall be used whenever a fire separation has been breached by an installation. 
In most geographical locals the breaching of a fire separation will require physical monitoring until it has been repaired. 
    Check with the “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for specific requirements on the project before commencing work.

Electrical Systems
    All fiber optic equipment will require proper power at the locations of the equipment. Power must be high quality power, protected for surges and splikes, and generally must have appropriate backup capacity to prevent loss of communications during power loss. Consult with the site owner and appropriate electrical contractors to plan electrical power installation. 

Grounding and Bonding
    All conductive cabling and components must be grounded and bonded. Ground systems shall be designed as specified by the NEC or other applicable codes and standards (ANSI/TIA/EIA 607-A, NECA-BICSI-568-2001). 
    Although most fiber optic cables are not conductive, any metallic hardware used in fiber optic cabling systems (such as wall-mounted termination boxes, racks, and patch panels) must be grounded.
    Conductive cables require proper grounding and bonding for applicable conductors.

    Fiber optic cables should be specified with colored jackets per industry standards which indentify the cables as fiber optic cables and indicate the type of fiber in the cable.   All fiber optic cables should be marked at each end with identification numbers that will indicate on documentation where the cables terminate. Fibers withing the cables should be identified by color codes also. Cables should be tagged with identification that they are fiber cables and proper handling is required.

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Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics


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