World Class Engineered Cable Blog

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

Ernie Pic VITALINK Wall.jpgThe 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.

Fire shafts may have been tested to the appropriate standards to retard flame, but they have not been tested to always ensure the operation of the actual cables that operate these critical systems.   In other words, at the moment, there is no current test that requires a flame test of both the Fire Shaft and the energized Life Safety cables as a total system.  

Commercial builders have needed further guidance about the limitations of relying only on fire shafts to protect electrical cables intended to operate critical electrical systems in a fire event.  Critical systems would include egress, alarm, and lighting systems.

Until this situation is addressed and maybe full system testing becomes required, RSCC VITALink ® continues to produce electrical cables for commercial buildings that pass the most stringent UL 2196 and ULC S139 tests, including cables that operate for 2 Hours when exposed to flame.

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety