When it comes to fire alarm and security cables, there are actually different types of cables to consider. It is not that one is necessarily a better option or that it is an inferior cable, it is that each type of cable is designed for a specific application.
Each type of fire alarm cable has to be selected to match with a particular section of the NEC (National Electrical Code). The cable can be designed for general purpose, for floor to floor wiring or use in plenums, ducts or other specific types of enclosed air spaces.
To help to distinguish the different types of cable, look for the specific designation with the cable. FPLP is plenum cable and can be used in ducts and air spaces. FPL is a general use cable that will be most commonly used with the surface wiring. The FPLR cable is used on vertical runs between floors.
The biggest challenge is in using the right fire alarm cable for the specific wiring need. Electricians with experience in installing fire and security systems will always choose the right cable for the job to match all code requirements.
Ideally, one of the big pluses of fire alarm cable is that it is readily recognizable with the bright red PVC outer jacket. This not only protects the wire during installation but it also protects against abrasion of the wire. It is designed to produce very low smoke in the event of a fire, an important consideration as well.
Finally, look for a cable that is going to be easy to work with and install. A rip cord makes stripping the outer jacket very easy and sequential foot markings on the exterior of the jacket also helps to speed up installation and avoid waste with incorrect measurements on long runs using traditional tape measures.
At EWCS we offer a top selection of shielded and non-shielded fire alarm cable types. To learn more see us online at www.ewcswire.com.