How many different types of Fire Alarm Cable are available?
Superior Essex manufactures three types of power-limited fire alarm cables: FPL, FPLR and FPLP.
Type FPL power-limited fire alarm cable is listed by the NEC as suitable for general purpose fire alarm use. All FPL cables are listed as being resistant to the spread of fire and must pass both UL test 1424 and vertical flame test UL 1581.
Type FPLR power-limited fire alarm riser cable is listed as suitable for use in a vertical run in a shaft or from floor to floor. All FPLR cables are listed as having fire-resistant characteristics capable of preventing fire from traveling floor to floor. Riser cables must pass both UL test 1424 and the vertical riser flame test UL 1666.
Type FPLP power-limited fire alarm plenum cable is listed by the NEC as suitable for use in ducts, plenums and other space used for environmental air. All FPLP cables are listed as having adequate fire-resistant and low smoke-producing characteristics and must pass both UL test 1424 and
UL tunnel test 910.
Superior Essex has combined FPL and FPLR into a single category, non-plenum. By utilizing the high-grade product (FPLR for both categories), this eliminates a category and offers the highest rating for both. The second category offered by Superior Essex is the plenum rate group.
What does Riser rated cable mean?
Riser rated cable is required when cable is run vertically between multi-story buildings in floor-to-floor wiring riser.
What does Plenum rated cable mean?
Plenum rated cable is required for jobs where cable is run in return air space. In most buildings this area is above drop ceilings or under raised floors. The materials required to pass plenum standards are much more expensive than non-plenum rated designs.
What’s the difference between power limited cables and non-power limited cables?
The difference between power limited cables and non-power limited cables is based on NEC compliance. Non-power limited cables is a fire alarm circuit powered by a source that complies with NEC sections 760-21 and 760-23. Power limited cables is a fire alarm circuit powered by a source that complies with section 760-41. Superior Essex offers Power Limited Fire Alarm cables (300 Volts Maximum).
How do I know what kind of fire alarm cable I need?
Fire alarm cables are placed into two broad categories: plenum, and non-plenum. Each corresponds to the application. Plenum cable, to be used in ducts or other enclosed air spaces, is called FPLP; non-plenum cable, to be used in applications such as surface wiring or general use wiring FPL; cable, which can be used in applications that go vertically from floor to floor, FPLR. All names reflect where the fire alarm cable can be installed safely. Once you know where you will install the cable, you know in which category plenum or non-plenum, to make your selection.
|Superior Essex Category
||NEC / UL Listing
||FPLR and FPL
||Vertical runs in a shaft or from floor to floor and general purpose use
||CM, CMR, CL3R, CMP
||Ducts, plenums and other space used for environmental air
Which standards should I consider when choosing fire alarm and security cable?
In the US, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) plays an important role in standards because it publishes the National Electrical Code (NEC). This document regulates the installation of electric wiring and equipment and should definitely be considered before starting a project.
ASTM International and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also design tests and standards for a wide variety of wire and cable, including those used for fire alarm and security applications. In Canada, CSA International does work similar to the UL in the US and can help ensure compliance with the Canadian Electrical Code. A cable with multiple listings (FPLR/CL3R/CMR) is an optimum choice.
What are some important safety precautions to consider when choosing fire alarm cable?
There are many safety precautions such as voltage, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, etc., that should be considered in choosing any kind of electrical cable, including fire alarm and security control cables. However, there are some notable fire-related safety precautions to consider as well. First is the fire resistance of the cable (i.e. will it burn and/or how long will it burn?) Another is smoke propagation (i.e. how much will it give off if it comes in contact with fire?). These considerations should be made when choosing any type of electrical cable, but they are especially important in the case of fire alarm and security control cable, which must function in emergency situations and under extreme conditions.
Most safety concerns (including these fire-related ones) are regulated by the UL, NEC, and other standards organizations and guidelines. The NEC outlines acceptable limits for burning and smoke emissions while the UL and other organizations are responsible for the development of various flame tests cables must pass in order to be considered safe for use.
||Good fire and smoke protection
||Better fire and smoke protection
||Best fire and smoke protection
What are some important safety precautions to consider when installing a fire alarm or security control cable?
All installations must follow guidelines established by the National Electric Code (NEC). Below are some basic practices to remember when installing power-limited fire alarm systems. For a more in-depth review of requirements and installation guidelines, refer to the NEC.
- All cables must be UL listed. Check all cables for the proper markings.
Refer to NEC Article 760.
- All cables must comply with local wiring requirements.
- Only use conductors made of copper.
- Test wiring for grounds, short circuits and open faults before the system is placed in operation.
- Always use the proper gauge of wire to avoid line loss.
- Avoid interference when routing wiring.
- Installation shall be made to prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor.
- A minimum of 6 inches of free conductor is required in each electrical box
to facilitate termination.
- All wiring must be terminated with UL listed devices.
- Consider local codes. Most states and cities adopt the NEC. A few states and cities amend the NEC recommendations regarding cable requirements. Any variances in code are easy to obtain through local officials. Check the local codes to determine if the NEC has been adopted in your area.
What is an addressable fire alarm system?
Addressable fire alarm systems using advanced electronics allow the fire alarm panel to communicate with each base individually using a sophisticated polling process. In some instances, more than 100 devices can be located on a single pair of wires. Due to this need for faster and clearer signal transfer, the capacitance of the cable has become a concern.
Is Superior Essex wire sunlight resistant?
Yes, our non-plenum series has sunlight resistant, UV protection. Plenum has its own rating.
How is your product packaged?
All cables are available on 1,000 foot premium black plastic ribbed spools. Other packages such as Reel-In-Box or poly-bagged coil packs and smaller quantities are available upon request. All packaging is tangle free.
What is the NEC?
The NEC (National Electrical Code) is a highly regarded handbook resources and considered the most comprehensive document on electrical safety. The NEC explains current code requirements and discusses pertinent code changes. Articles of the NEC are specific to certain wire applications.
What is Article 725 of the NEC?
Article 725 pertains to power limited circuit cables and used for low voltage security purposes.
What is Article 760 of the NEC?
Article 760 pertains to fire cables used for fire alarms.
What is the purpose of Article 800 of the NEC?
Article 800 pertains to communication circuits, voice, and data cables used for communication of video, data, or voice.
How much warranty do I get with Superior Essex Fire Alarm and Security Control cables?
Superior Essex Fire Alarm and Security Control cables are offered with a one year Warranty.