How do I know what kind of fire alarm cable I need?

February 6, 2020

Fire alarm cables are placed into two broad categories: plenum, and non-plenum. Each corresponds to the application. Plenum cable, to be used in ducts or other enclosed air spaces, is called FPLP; non-plenum cable, to be used in applications such as surface wiring or general use wiring FPL; cable, which can be used in applications that go vertically from floor to floor, FPLR. All names reflect where the fire alarm cable can be installed safely. Once you know where you will install the cable, you know in which category plenum or non-plenum, to make your selection.

Superior Essex CategoryNEC / UL ListingSuitable ApplicationsSubstitutions
Non-PlenumFPLR and FPLVertical runs in a shaft or from floor to floor and general purpose useCM, CMR, CL3R, CMP
PlenumFPLPDucts, plenums and other space used for environmental airCMP, CL3P


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