Understanding the Two Types of Fire Safety Ratings for Fire Alarm Cable
one of the most fundamental concepts to understand are the two fire safety classifications for a Fire Alarm Cable. What many people don’t know is that the type of cable chosen for different sect...
one of the most fundamental concepts to understand are the two fire safety classifications for a Fire Alarm Cable. What many people don’t know is that the type of cable chosen for different sections of your fire alarm system can not only be a matter of safety but legality as well. Fire safety codes designed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) lay out two categorizations for fire alarm cables. This blog will explain each type and give you a basic understanding of where each type should be used.
Type 1: Plenum Cable
Plenum space is considered particularly risky primarily because of the fact that in the case of fire, heat and cooling systems will continually bring oxygen to flames that reach plenum space. Additionally, however, plenum space is considered dangerous because it is generally out of sight of those who may be working or living in the building.
If you’re rewiring sections of your fire alarm system and you are not sure if a space is plenum space or not, err on the side of caution and purchase plenum rated cables. Significant risk of non-plenum space unintentionally becoming plenum space has been noted by major fire safety authorities. Something as simple as a duct seal being breached can make non-plenum space take on the hazardous qualities of plenum space as a result of the introduction of oxygen flow. As a result, when in doubt, choose plenum rated fire alarm cable.
Type 2: Riser Cable
Riser cables are ideal for areas that are far removed from air circulation vents, well-sealed from other areas, and confirmed not to have fresh air circulation.
When buying fire alarm cables, regardless of rating, you should be aware that the special insulation used can severely reduce the flexibility of the cables. As a result, plan to run cables longer and with more leeway than you might usually expect. Overly flexing a plenum or riser rated cable can result in fire alarm cables that are split, cracked, or damaged internally. Understandably, this is a severe risk in the case that a fire does occur.
If you have further questions about alarm cables, our staff can help. Our store carries certified alarm cables of multiple types, both plenum rated and riser rated, and we are well-educated on their application. Come check out our store and find the information you need today at www.ewcswire.com!
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