World Class Engineered Cable Blog

How to Specify Fire Safety or Fire Rated Cables

Posted by Rob Schmidt on Mar 23, 2017 1:55:34 PM

Systems important to life safety require extra attention when specifying what equipment to buy and how to install it. It’s vital for these systems to remain operational during an emergency to limit the loss of life by providing functionality to emergency response teams, as well as evacuation efforts.

Fires can be catastrophic to life and property that’s why many standards and jurisdictions are requiring the functionality of emergency systems during a fire event. Some of these systems include emergency power, lighting, communication, and suppression.

Cables are the vital link between emergency equipment and their power or control source therefore they must also remain functional during a fire event. The details of installation can seem daunting without the proper partnership. Fire are very complex in nature. Materials expand and contract at different rates causing movement. Excessive movement can cause failure, and most systems are designed to accommodate a specific amount, but no more.

Below are several important points to understand when specifying any fire rated cable system for a project.

Functionality: Cables alone are not enough to satisfy operational requirements during a fire. Support methods, grounding requirements, fill ratio, vertical supports, pull boxes, installation orientation, splices, and material compatibility play a role in ensuring that your emergency system remains functional.

Flexibility: A fire rated system should cover your bases so it can be installed with ease. A properly designed fire rated cable system gives the contractor flexibility during an installation as to not override costs and delay the project. Some designs require less pulling because they can be consolidated into a single cable or can be offered in long lengths. Ampacities may diminish if a cable is covered. Consider what tools and equipment are needed to complete the installation and verify that these are allowed by the UL FHIT listing.

Splicing: With so many people working on site, and with all of the heavy machinery, sometimes accidents happen and cable gets damaged. Perhaps the complexity of the cable routing requires two lengths to be pulled separate and splice them together. Having an option to splice on the job and maintain fire protection requirements will save time and money trying to fix the problem by pulling new cable in, fire wrapping, or reordering cable that may have long lead times.

Compliance: The cable system should comply with governin

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

VITALink 2-Hour For critical buildings meet UL 2196

Posted by Michael Brennan on Jan 31, 2017 11:09:45 AM

When building the newest facility for one of the most innovative companies in the world, which cable did they pick for their Life – Safety systems?

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety, Eliminate Electrical System Failure

Is IEC 60331 test sufficient for fire resistive cables in petrochemical facilities?

Posted by Michael Betts on Jan 5, 2017 3:22:26 PM

In the public domain, such as a high-rise building or subway tunnel where people are present, clear standards exist to specify a fire safety cable to ensure notification, egress, and emergency system continued operation.

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

Do Commercial Builders need a full systems test of fire rated cables plus a fire shaft?

Posted by Ernie Gagnon on Nov 22, 2016 12:04:10 PM

The short answer is “yes” they should.  Critical electrical circuits or Fire Safety Systems are referred to as Life Safety Systems intended to operate under extreme heat and flame to SAVE Lives.   As a manufacturer of fire safety cables, RSCC produces VITALink brand cables sold for the commercial installation market that pass UL 2196 in the U.S. and ULC-S139 in Canada.

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

Cost Effective Solutions For Fire Rated Cables

Posted by R-SCC on Nov 11, 2015 12:41:00 PM

It’s important to have fire rated cables that meet UL 2196 and the requirements of the code as well as know which type of cable will work best as well as save you money. Two common types of cables to compare are metal clad (MC) and mineral insulated (MI). Each meets the requirements of the code, but are different when compared to labor costs. Time is money and you can be spending a lot of money for someone to appropriately install a cable. Know what the cost effective solution is between MC and MI cables.

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

What Are My Options For Fire Rated Cables?

Posted by R-SCC on Nov 5, 2015 1:30:00 PM

What do stadiums, road way tunnels, subways, high-rise buildings, and other essential structures have in common? Their construction requires fire-resistant wiring. Of course, there are codes and standards which require this, but it’s also common sense.

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

Devil Is In The Details For Fire Rated Cables

Posted by Michael Brennan on Oct 15, 2015 9:45:28 AM
On Tuesday 7/28/2015 I did a presentation to the IAEI chapter meeting in Las Vegas NV, the attendees included local inspectors, contractors, engineers and a UL representative.   We discussed the UL 2196 testing program for “Electrical Circuit Integrity Systems”, since the suspension occurred in Sept of 2012, UL has been testing to an “Interim Program”  which is far more stringent that the previous requirements.   Overall, this new program has improved the confidence level in the safety of the systems, and now there are important details in each manufacturer’s fire rated cable listing that are requirements for an appropriate installation - See more at: http://r-scc.com/blog?article=5#sthash.4YDXh2mg.dpuf

On Tuesday 7/28/2015 I did a presentation to the IAEI chapter meeting in Las Vegas NV, the attendees included local inspectors, contractors, engineers and a UL representative.   We discussed the UL 2196 testing program for “Electrical Circuit Integrity Systems”, since the suspension occurred in Sept of 2012, UL has been testing to an “Interim Program”  which is far more stringent that the previous requirements.   Overall, this new program has improved the confidence level in the safety of the systems, and now there are important details in each manufacturer’s fire rated cable listing that are requirements for an appropriate installation

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety