Fire Alarm Wire
About Fire Alarm Wire
Fire alarm cables are manufactured in Riser and Plenum. FPLR (Fire Power Limited Riser) comes in unshielded or shielded at a much lower cost compared to the Plenum version. FPLR cable has the word “riser” in it because it’s used in fire alarms, signal monitors and audio control circuits where the cable is rising only. FPLP (Fire Power Limited Plenum) cables are used in installations overhead in plenum for fire protection reasons. Plenum cables withstand flame better than riser cables and need to be used in those applications
Fire Alarm Cable Information
Fire Alarm Wire and Cable is somtimes abbreviated to FPLR and FPLP that stands for riser and plenum. Fire alarm cable is used for many sound and security systems including audio, PA and intercom systems. It comes in awg sizes 22 through 18 in as many conductors as 12 in riser and plenum wires.
The riser fire alarm cable comes in s shielded and unshielded version which may be needed depending on the application. The plenum fire alarm cable also comes in the shielded and unshielded version because both could possibly be needed in certain situations.
We also stock the contractor grade fire alarm cables in shielded, unshielded, riser and plenum which only comes in a red jacket with solid copper conductors. Please call for pricing on the contractor grade material.
Fire Alarm Cable Applications – Electronic Cable Information
Fire alarm cable is a multi conductor electronic cable that comes in a shielded and unshielded version. The variations are PVC, Plenum, shielded and unshielded which automatically puts this cable in at least 4 types of different applications. Standard ways of asking for it would be fire alarm cable, shielded fire alarm cable, FPLR cable and FPLP cable which statnd for Riser and Plenum.
FPLR is a Riser fire alarm cable with a PVC jacket and solid copper conductors. This would be the cheaper version because it can’t be used in as many applications as the plenum cable. Common applications for both plenum and non plenum cables are smoke alarms and detectors, voice communications, addressable fire alarm systems, microprocessor controlled systems, pull boxes, burglar alarms, wiring of fire alarms, and fire protective circuits. It usually comes in a RED colored outer jacket.
FPLP is Plenum fire alarm cable used in ducts and enclosed air spaces where fire can spread easily. The plenum jacket won’t allow the fire to spread throughout the entire air duct system creating an even bigger problem than the fire itself. Both the FPLR and FPLP come in a shielded and unshielded version which would make the cable slightly more expensive.
Some of the questions you want to ask yourself before buying any type of electronic wire and cable are:
Will it be used indoors or outdoors?
Does the jacket meet the temperature rating needed?
Does it need a shield?
Does it need to have fire protection?
All electronic cables and fire alarm cables are manufactured with solid copper conductors so they all carry current in the same way. The things you need to worry about have to do with the insulation and whether it has a high enough temperature rating to not melt in the insulation or if it needs outdoor weather protection. These things can puncture the insulation and short the connection by hitting the copper wire which could cost a lot of money to fix.
Call us to talk about your application to be sure you have everything you need AND to be sure you’re not buying far too much protection that you don’t need so that you don’t pay any more money than you have to.
4 Types of Fire Alarm Cable
1. FPLR Cable
FPLR, Fire Power Limited Riser, is the cheapest of the bunch because it’s the most basic. When you don’t need a shield or plenum insulation you go with a riser fire alarm cable that gets installed vertically, hence “riser.” These cables come in sizes 22 AWG through 12 AWG with 2, 4, 6 or 8 possible conductors.
2. FPLR Shielded Cable
FPLR shielded fire alarm cables include an aluminum polyester foil shield over the conductors to protect against interference. A foil shield is the only type of shield offered in standard riser alarm cables. If you need a braid shield or foil/braid shield you will need to wait about 4-6 weeks and purchase about 20,000 feet.
3. FPLP Cable
FPLP, Fire Power Limited Plenum, cables are plenum rated for horizontal overhead installations. Plenum cables can be installed in plenum which is where the name came from. You’ll notice that plenum cables are much more expensive than riser cables because of the additional engineering and protection they offer. They’re both offered in similar sizes because the amount of copper, or current, doesn’t change when the insulation changes.
4. FPLP Shielded Cable
FPLP shielded fire alarm cables also include an aluminum polyester foil shield over the conductors to block interference. Sometimes there are a few cables running next to each other in plenum and need shielding to block interference between one another. However, if the cable is installed by itself it shouldn’t need a shield.
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.
We’re happy to answer any questions you have about electronic cables, hook up wire and industrial power cables.