3 Fire Alarm Cable Attributes
Fire alarm cable is a term in the wire and cable industry to describe the approved cable for fire alarm systems. First things first, fire alarm cable should be fire resistant so that the cable doesn't malfunction during a fire. Environmental conditions strongly come into play when engineers design a cable. The cable must be able to resist all that it comes in contact with or it's deemed useless.
1. Riser and Plenum Rating
Use Riser fire alarm cable when installations run vertically in the walls of a home or building. Use Plenum fire alarm cable when installations run horizontally above in duct or plenum. Both of the ratings come with an option of a foil shield to block EMI. You'll need to make sure you choose the correct cable for installations because you may fail inspection after all of your hard work.
2. Known for its Acronyms
Fire alarm cable is also known as FPLR and FPLP for "Fire Power Limited Riser" and Fire Power Limited Plenum". Typically, people using these cables ask for FPLR shielded or unshielded. And at that point all you need to state is the quantity you need for your application. They're commonly stocked in 1000' pull boxes but some suppliers will cut into the box if you ask.
3. Red Jacket
Fire alarm cables are manufactured with a red jacket unless otherwise specified. There are other color options available but when a second or third electrician visit the same home for repairs it's easier for them to spot the fire alarm cables because of their red jacket.
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