Data Center

Consider Composite Cables for Security Systems

Mike Masucci

It’s no secret that analog-based surveillance systems supported by coaxial cabling are giving way to IP-based surveillance systems supported by twisted-pair copper and/or fiber optic cabling. Based on internet protocol, IP-based surveillance, security and life safety systems are considered IoT (Internet of Things) devices, meaning that they can communicate with each other and with the network.

This transition from analog to digital can bring about changes in infrastructure, as well as changes for data center managers and IT staff. In enterprise environments, facilities managers who have traditionally managed security and surveillance systems are being introduced to new IP devices and technology. In some cases, facilities managers are working hand in hand with IT staff to maintain security systems; in other cases, they may be turning the security system over to the IT department to maintain. IT managers are now having to learn about new types of devices riding on their network: security, surveillance and life safety systems.


The Potential of Composite Cables

During this transition, it’s not uncommon to find hybrid systems – a mix of analog and digital security devices. It can be more affordable, easier to manage and easier to train staff when the transition happens over a period of time instead of all at once. As more IP-based security systems are deployed in an enterprise, the system becomes more complex as more devices utilize the network. And the cabling infrastructure required to support these systems becomes more complex as well.


Even though IP-based systems are supported by category cable, they still often require some kind of junction box. Composite cables – a mixture of multimode/singlemode fiber or shielded and unshielded twisted-pair copper wires bundled together under one jacket – can achieve cost-effective security system installation in situations like these; composite cables offer several labor-saving and easy-identification features.


Benefits of the Banana Peel

Composite cables are easier and quicker to install as compared to bundling and pulling individual cables. With a Banana Peel feature, composite cables can improve installation speed even more. Banana Peel composite cables affix individual cables to a center spline. This eliminates the need for an overall jacket. When the jacket is no longer needed, an entire step in the termination process is eliminated. Individual cables can be connected to the junction box or can be rerouted to the point of termination.


Individual cable components within the composite cable are all identifiable, using color codes to classify the application (which is also printed on the individual cable jackets).


Banana Peel composite cables also have a smaller OD as compared to other composite cables. As a result, bend radius is improved – leading to faster, easier installation. A smaller OD also means less weight to handle and a smaller conduit required during installation.


A Standard for Security System Cabling

As changes continue to emerge with security systems and their cabling requirements, BICSI 005 was created to provide guidance about the integration of security systems through the network. This standard provides requirements and recommendations for cabling infrastructure that supports all types of security systems.

The current edition – ANSI/BICSI 005-2016Electronic Safety and Security (ESSSystem Design and Implementation Best Practices – applies to IT departments and facilities management teams. It covers requirements and recommendations for cabling, as well as the different elements within safety and security systems that affect infrastructure design.s requirements and recommendations for cabling infrastructure that supports all types of security systems.


Belden Cabling for Security Systems

Belden has a wide variety of copper and fiber solutions, including Banana Peel composite cable, for surveillance and security systems. We’ll help you find cabling that can support you in the transition from analog to digital, and install quickly and efficiently. (We also offer Banana Peel designs for broadcast and AV solutions as well.)