NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm Code) sets the established installation standard for fire alarm systems. Make sure you are working with a licensed professional Fire Alarm contractor or you may end up with a costly mistake. See photo: “For Audio Only” marked white wire used by an unknowledgeable subcontractor that thought “wire is wire.” This entire system had to be rewired using FPL and FPLP rated Fire Alarm Cable. Use a NICET Certified fire Alarm Installer/Technician to be sure you are getting highly knowledgeable professionals that demonstrate personal integrity and competence. The National Electric Code (NEC) lists the following cable for use in Fire Alarm Systems.
What is FPL, FPLP Cable, and FPLR Cable?
FPL (Fire Power Limited) Fire Alarm Cable is non-plenum rated for use in general purpose fire alarm installation.
FPLP (Fire Power Limited Plenum) Plenum Fire Alarm Cable is used in horizontal overhead installations such as, duct work or other space that is used for the flow of environmental air. FPLP- Shielded includes an aluminum polyester foil shield and drain wire to block additional interference within the cable.
FPLR (Fire Power Limited Riser) Riser Cable to be used in applications that go vertically from floor to floor or in a shaft. FPLR- Shielded includes an aluminum polyester foil shield and drain wire to protect against outside interference.
Conduit or not to Conduit?
NFPA and NEC 90 articles state that when installing a fire alarm system, any fire alarm wiring below 7 feet or in non-accessible areas must be installed in a metallic raceway, including behind drywall walls or hard ceiling surfaces. The City of Chicago required systems must be installed entirely in conduit. Some Chicago suburbs follow the City of Chicago code.
Don’t take a chance with life safety systems, leave it to a NICET Certified Fire Alarm provider. NICET is a non-profit division of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Many of our Technicians and Engineers hold NICET Certifications.