What are some important safety precautions to consider when installing a fire alarm or security control cable?

February 6, 2020

All installations must follow guidelines established by the National Electric Code (NEC). Below are some basic practices to remember when installing power-limited fire alarm systems. For a more in-depth review of requirements and installation guidelines, refer to the NEC.

  1. All cables must be UL listed. Check all cables for the proper markings. Refer to NEC Article 760.
  2. All cables must comply with local wiring requirements.
  3. Only use conductors made of copper.
  4. Test wiring for grounds, short circuits and open faults before the system is placed in operation.
  5. Always use the proper gauge of wire to avoid line loss.
  6. Avoid interference when routing wiring.
  7. Installation shall be made to prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor.
  8. A minimum of 6 inches of free conductor is required in each electrical box to facilitate termination.
  9. All wiring must be terminated with UL listed devices.
  10. Consider local codes. Most states and cities adopt the NEC. A few states and cities amend the NEC recommendations regarding cable requirements. Any variances in code are easy to obtain through local officials. Check the local codes to determine if the NEC has been adopted in your area.

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