Important Things to Know when Buying Alarm Cables

When you’re looking for wires and cables, EWCSWire can surely help. EWCS stands for Electric Wire and Cable Specialists, because that’s who they are. The people at EWCSWire really know their stuff about all the different kinds of wires and cables—their uses, accessories, and what safety requirements need to be met in order to be useable. Whatever type of wire or cable you need, EWCSWire has the stock and the knowledge to help you get everything you need. EWCSWire even has a selection of alarm cables, whether you need security alarm cables or fire alarm cables. But it’s important to be aware that when shopping for these kinds of cables, there are important safety guidelines that make each type of wire different. These cables have been put to the test to ensure that they meet certain standards.

Plenum-Rated Cables
EWCSWire offers security alarm and fire alarm cables that adhere to the codes that qualify them for a plenum rating. Plenum is the name given to any space in a building designed to facilitate air circulation. This often refers to the space between the architectural ceiling and the drop ceiling or the structural floor and the raised floor of a building. Cables that run through this part of a building require more protection in case of fire. Because of the ventilation that occurs within plenum spaces, smoke accumulated there can spread more quickly than it would otherwise. Cables that have met the requirements to receive a plenum rating have a fire retardant outer jacket and are designed to be not only resistant to fire, but also to generate very little smoke. Standard cables, insulated with PVC, would smoke heavily, emitting HCl into the air. This would be especially dangerous in a high-circulation area. For that reason, the National Fire Protection Agency created the requirements for plenum-rated cables. These cables are tested repeatedly and rigorously to comply with these strict NFPA standards.

Riser-Rated Cables
Risers are in a similar position as plenum spaces. They don’t facilitate airflow, however there are requirements in place to ensure safety in these spaces. Risers are areas that allow for access between floors in a build. For example, an elevator shaft is a riser space. While a plenum-rated cable can do the job of a riser-rated cable, they’re generally more expensive. Riser-rated cables don’t have to meet as many requirements as plenum-rated cables do, but they do have to meet NFPA set standards. In order for a cable to earn a riser rating, it must meet a test to ensure that it doesn’t allow for the spread of fire. Basically, if this wire catches fire, that fire should not be able to spread along the length of the cable. This is important in riser spaces as it can mean the difference between a contained fire and a fire that has spread over multiple floors.

When you trust EWCSWire with your cable and wiring needs, you can be sure that your security or fire alarm cables are meeting all the safety standards prescribed by the NFPA. After all, these alarms are there to protect you and the building. In order to fulfill that duty efficiently, they must be safe to use. To see the selection of electronic and instrumentation cables EWCSWire proudly offers, refer to their website.

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