Electrician Required for LOREX Camera System Install - ??

6 Replies

Help me out here BP members. A number of my buildings are 100 years old, you enter through a common door to a common area that accesses 3-4 apartments typically on different floors with 1 or 2 per floor. Part of upgrading these buildings is upgrading the common areas, but I cannot invest in that without first installing a multi camera security system to protect my investment. Absent supervision the tenants will destroy any work we do within a month. 

City of Hagerstown, Maryland has told me that I need to have a city licensed electrician install the cameras because the buildings are more than 2-unit multi-family. This has been their position for 6 months. We have,  by the way, contacted every electrician we could identify in and around Hagerstown and none did camera installations. 

Today I looked up the National Electric Code and found an article 840 which deals with Premises Powered Broadband Communication Systems, I believe that is the definition of my LOREX system which runs on coaxial camera cable that takes a single run from the back of the DVR to the back of the camera. We do not have to drill any holes I do not understand where this is coming from. The city code lady is calling it "low voltage wiring" but my reading on the low voltage wiring described nothing which sounded like a camera system.

Your thoughts? What should I do? Just install the cameras and say take me to court? I hate the city so I'd probably call them and tell them when I was doing it to insure we got our day in court together.

Cable TV, Networks, CCTV, Telco, etc. are all considered low voltage wiring.  While I am not familiar with the particular ordinances in Hagerstown, I can tell you that if they are requiring permit, that could be why they are telling you it requires an electrician.  As a low voltage professional, I am always partnering with electricians on projects that require permits.  I don't want to upgrade breaker panels and they don't want design network infrastructure, but in Maryland, you must have a Master or Limited Electrical license to pull a permit for low voltage installations.  You may want to check with local security or AV contractors in your area as they may have a relationship with a local electrician to pull permits if that's the case. 

Hi @JR T. How about contacting a security system installer instead of an electrician? A quick Google search turned up two such companies servicing Hagerstown. It seems to me the burden of compliance would be on the installer as opposed to you.mBest of luck!

@Ray Arends The city code inspector told me, in writing, I needed a permit from a city licensed electrician. One of their remedies is to revoke your rental license until you remove the cameras or obtain the proper permits and inspections. The installer isn't going to do anything for me when I need to evict someone and can't as an unlicensed landlord so I'll comply on the cameras because they'll be obvious and outside.

@Joseph Dibley They are telling me its a State of Maryland law. Is it a low voltage wire when it's also transmitting 8 channels of high def video? LOREX calls them CMR Riser wires. 

I think based on the new articles in the electric code whenever Maryland adopts it you won't need a permit for the computer stuff any longer.

That county might not be operating out of the 2014 NEC. They might be a few code cycles behind. Also authority having jurisdiction could play a part in this. For example the code says there must be 2 dedicated branch circuits for the kitchen counter tops. In Harford county the authority having jurisdiction ( county inspection office) says they want 3 dedicated branch circuits for the kitchen countertops

What a joke. I have these types of cameras installed in a property I own. They are simple to install and while I understand they are low voltage wiring, it is ludicrous they require a permit for that. I just had to shell out $496 to run wire and install a grounded outlet because of these jokers. Meanwhile, the property had an electrical permit pulled, passed final, closed out and a Housing Authority Inspection (passed that, too) then the City Rental inspection failed the outlet...long story but just keep in mind all the hoop jumping you will have to do if you invest in this City.

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