Updated: Dec 30, 2022
What is Fire Alarm Cable?
Fire alarm cable is designed for use with fire alarm systems, as well as smoke alarms, smoke detectors, voice communications, microprocessor-controlled systems, pull boxes (fire alarm signals), burglar alarms, and other applications requiring low voltage. Fire alarm systems, in particular, are mostly controlled and powered by fire alarm circuits. The fire alarm circuits also control and power various applications, such as fire detection and prevention systems, elevator capture and shutdown, damper control, and door release mechanisms. In accordance with NEC Articles 760 and 725, there are two types of fire alarm system circuits: power-restricted and non-power-restricted. Non-power-limited fire alarm wires operate at 120 volts AC, whereas power-limited fire alarm wires operate at 24 volts DC.
Fire Alarm Cable Standards
Since the National Electrical Code (NEC) is produced by the NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association plays an essential role in standards development that is most widely followed throughout the globe. A careful review of this guideline is required before beginning any electrical wiring or equipment installation project. Fire alarm and security systems are among the types of wires and cables that ASTM International and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) test and standardize. CSA is also one of the highly regarded standards that are globally accepted as a benchmark.
Why you need to install Fire Alarm Cables
The modern world and day-to-day jumping technology somehow pose more fire safety risks, so there are several reasons to opt for fire alarm cables-
1. Day-to-day increasing population, manufacturing, buildings, and use of technology is representing a straight direction to fire risk.
2. Overheating of certain cables, and wirings, overload mainly results in short circuits and then fire.
3. Installation of a fire alarm system can be of no use if you’re having normal wiring. In comparison to fire alarm cables, normal cables easily catches the fire.
4. PVC or normal wire and cables can cause serious damage to lives and properties. Ordinary wires release Carbon monoxide and other irritant gases like hydrochloric acid, HCl, hydrofluoric acid HF, carbonyl fluoride COF2, and acrolein, neither good for the atmosphere nor for health.
5 Steps to Quality Fire Alarm Cable
The conductor basically works as a path for electric current. In the context of fire alarm cables, one should always opt for copper conductors instead of aluminum, because aluminum has poor conductivity rate than copper. It is essential that all components of a fire alarm system and public addressing system should have an adequate and recommended supply of power - which a copper conductor better ensures. Not to mention that copper has a melting point of 1084 degrees Celsius on the other hand aluminum has a melting point of 66-degree Celcius which directs you to fire risk at any cost. EC-grade & 99.9% Pure Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) conductors are highly recommended for fire alarm cables.
Insulation can be referred to as the covering of a copper conductor. Copper wire insulation has a specific melting point that is totally suitable for fire alarm cables. The fire alarm cable is made of LSZH/ XLPE material that ensures no release of poisonous gas or smoke and no release of halogen in fire emergency situations. That eventually avoids choking and causes deaths. Insulation in fire alarm cables should have a thickness of 0.7-1 mm, or as directed by applicable standards for the application. In addition, it should be abrasion-resistant to improve its physical strength, thereby improving its fluency.
As recommended by accredited international standards, the inner sheath of a fire alarm cable should be made out of an LSZH compound to avoid the release of smoke, toxic halogens, and harmful gases in fire emergencies. The thickness of the Inner sheath should be about 0.50 mm, or as directed by applicable standards for the application. It is also recommended to always go for wires that have an abrasion-resistant inner sheath, to ensure fluent performance for an extended lifetime of the circuit and reduction of the cost of repairs.
Armouring defines itself, as protection. Armouring in fire alarm cable has to be of galvanized steel, as it offers protection and prevents rusting in the wire. Galvanized armouring provides protection from any physical damage to the wire, and ensures non-stop electric flow. Armouring should be in round wire braid form to ensure flexibility to wire and ease of installation.
The outer sheath provides overall protection to the complete wire. The outer sheath of the fire alarm cable should be of Fire Retardant LSZH PVC, as it is chemical resistant,
shocks, and also have UV protection. It should be abrasion-resistant so that no physical damage can disrupt its functioning. The outer sheath of the fire alarm cable should be of appropriate material so that it can provide protection from harsh environmental conditions.
Above are the points that everyone should count on, in the case of wires and cables. Dealing with fire alarm cables should definitely keep these measures in mind so that your fire alarm system can work efficiently. For instance, NoToFire is one of the renowned manufacturers of Fire Alarm Systems in the market that also manufactures the best quality fire alarm cables. Fire alarm cables from NotoFire follow all the measures that are listed above, Copper conductor, XLPE/ LSZH insulation, LSZH inner sheath, with steel armouring, and XLPE outer sheath. These cables comply with leading standards such as the IES, British Standards (BSI), and LPCB. These Cables are composed of multi-strand annealed - EC grade 99.9% oxygen-free copper conductor. NotoFire uses LSZH category material to ensure that in case of fire there is no smoke, no poisonous gases or fumes- as in fire tragedy cases most of the people die due to choking in comparison to burns.
Why you shouldn’t opt for PVC or ordinary cables?
PVC or ordinary cables generally ruptures in at high temperature and emits smoke that not only blocks the exit routes but also creates suffocation due to people dying. Buildings and commercial places use ordinary or PVC wires that somehow accelerate the fire in the premise, so it is highly recommended to install fire safety cables rather than any ordinary cable.
Notofire Fire alarm cable
NoToFire Fire Alarms and Fire Survival cables are made according to the highest international standards using the finest materials available in the market. aIn addition to armoured and unarmoured fire retardant cables, Fire Performance Cables are also available for fire alarm cables and fire survival cables.
Notofire tests circuit integrity cables as per Swedish Chimney for their fire resistance, smoke density ratings, halogen gas emissions, oxygen index ratings, and flammability tests.
Due to their high permissible conductor temperature, these cables have special characteristics such as circuit integrity even at high temperatures. Short circuit capacity is greater, overheating resistance is lower, it is lighter, easier to handle and install, it emits less smoke, it has less environmental opacity if it is burnt, it emits no toxic or corrosive gases, and it has a negligible amount of harmful and toxic emissions.
For any other queries or for advisory related to fire safety, contact us