What Is Plenum Cable, and When Should I Use It?
The plenum is an open space found above a building’s dropped ceilings, and it is often used for air circulation in heating and air-conditioning systems. In addition to being utilized for routing air, plenum spaces often house telephone and network communication cables which are being run from one location to another. Any cables which are being routed through above-ceiling air circulation spaces are therefore known as plenum cables, and need to adhere to special fire-safety standards.
According to Article 800 of the National Electrical Code (NEC), plenum cables must comply with the specifications for flammability and smoke density outlined in Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) testing methods.
Plenum-rated cables are distinguished from other types of cabling by the special types of plastics used in their jackets. Because plenum cables are routed through air circulation spaces which contain very few fire barriers, they need to be coated in flame-retardant, low smoke materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP), or a polyolefin. These plastics offer good resistance against fire, and in the event that they do begin to burn, they will not emit large quantities of harmful fumes.
If your cabling application requires materials that are flame-retardant or compliant with strict safety standards, opt for plenum-rated products. CableOrganizer.com offers a full line of plenum-grade cable, raceway, and wire connectors to meet all of your fire safety requirements!
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