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3 Reasons Fire Chiefs Endorse 2 Hour Fire-Rated Cable

For Fire Chiefs, safety is paramount in an emergency situation. In fact, Fire Chiefs rely on a series on NPFA codes to provide essential benchmarks for a safe response to a fire call. From the moment that call comes in, safety is on the forefront of any fire professional’s mind.   

When buildings are equipped with 2-hour fire-rated cable systems, there is an increased element of safety from the moment an emergency occurs.   

What is a Critical Life Safety System? 

The effectiveness of critical life safety systems in any building relies on the overlap of design expertise from mechanical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering. One area of primary importance in building design is the protection of critical electrical circuits such as alarms, emergency lighting, electrical fire pump feeds, emergency generators and air handlers as well as electrical feeds for emergency elevators.   

Architects and engineers have many ways to design and construct such circuits.  With over 100 years of history, evolving safety codes and standards have been put to the test many times.  

How Do Fire-Rated Cables Ensure Building Safety? 

Fire Marshals depend upon products that meet safety codes and standards to protect properties, building occupants and the safety of their own firefighters and other first responders. Some codes and standards require only a minimum amount of protection, but fire-rated cable goes above and beyond these requirements.  

nVent PYROTENAX System 1850 Mineral Insulated (MI) wiring is one of those solutions appreciated by fire chiefs and marshals.  

What does nVent PYROTENAX MI Fire-Rated Cable Do? 

nVent PYROTENAX System 1850 fire-rated MI cable has passed every UL test for over 30 years without a single failure. The UL 2196 / ULC S-139 2-hour cable testing standard is quite rigorous and consists of a specific type of fire exposure followed by a water hose stream. Cables are energized during the fire test and after the hose stream to prove circuit integrity is maintained throughout. To date, mineral insulated copper-clad cables (MI cable) are the only cables that meet the 2-hour vertical and horizontal UL fire test with no limitations. With System 1850 MIi cables, fire professionals can rely upon a minimum of two hours of precious time to minimize damage and safely evacuate buildings. 

System 1850 MI cable is an extremely rugged and durable cable. Constructed of copper and magnesium oxide powder, these cables are resistant to mechanical forces and do not degrade over time. Exposure to air or extreme temperatures will also not destroy these cables. In fact, there are many nVent PYROTENAX installations around the world that have been in service for more than 80 years.  

One famous example is the English Channel tunnel fire of 1996. System 1850 MI cable kept power flowing to emergency response equipment during the fire, but it was also used to power equipment during the following clean up and rebuild. 

System 1850 MI cable being totally inert, does not emit flammable gas. Many other cables used to power emergency equipment use polymer material instead of magnesium oxide as their insulating material. When exposed to fire, these polymeric cables can give off highly flammable and toxic gasses. With high enough levels of concentration and exposure to an ignition source like an electrical arc, these gasses may combust and create an additional hazard to an already extremely dangerous situation. 

For all of these reasons and more, fire marshals and other first responders rely upon nVent PYROTENAX MI cable solutions to provide the best protection available during a fire situation.  

To learn more about the stringent fire codes buildings must follow, click here and view our video series on NFPA codes.