Construction Corner is a Q&A column committed to answering reader-submitted questions regarding construction and development. Inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I will be installing a new keypad-access system at my facility here in Louisiana. Are there are any steps I should take to protectmy newkeypad system from lightning?
— Kevin in Harvey, La.
A: Yes! There are a few things that should be done regardless of which system you are installing. Grounding is probably the main thing you need to consider. Use a grounding rod close to the keypad stand or gate motor, and use either a solid No. 12 wire or stranded No. 10 wires between the keypad and ground rod. Higher-end keypads actually have a terminal for ground or shock that can be used. There are devices that go at the keypads and at the controller in office to protect both sides of the system. Ask your security vendor about these devices.
Q: Our facility is in an industrial area, and we have had problems with vandals stealing our exterior cameras. We have tried the larger housings for the visual deterrent and the smaller bullet cameras for a more covert monitoring system. Nothing is working; they are using ropes to “lasso” them off the wall. Do you have any suggestions?
—Jade in Oakland, Calif.
A: A relatively new technology in housings is called “no-grip” housings. They are small, vandal-resistant, dome cameras with tapered edges. There is no way for a vandal to easily lasso or grab onto them. If mounted at a height of 12 feet or higher, these cameras will be safe from all but the most determined thieves.
Tony Gardner is a licensed contractor and installation manager for QuikStor, a provider of self-storage security and software since 1987. For more information, visit www.quikstor.com.