Business and Technology Relocation Planning and Project Management
PBX & Voice Mail
2002 NEC Code Changes
From a draft of a pending article on 2002 NEC code changes:
The change in the 2002 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires the removal of abandoned cable to reduce the fuel load and eliminate toxic fumes in case of a fire. The story of abandoned cables in the plenum areas above the ceiling is generally chaotic at best with many different types of cables tangled and snarled like a rats nest; many offices have so much buildup that you literally can not lift the ceiling tile. Since the removal of existing cabling is next to impossible without damaging cabling which is still in use in the area, few companies have bothered to pull out the old to avoid disruptions to their network operations. The buildup of layers and layers of cabling has become a major concern to life and safety over the past 10 years, many older building may still have Plastic and cloth wrapped cables from the 1930’s or 40’s in their walls & ceilings. With the installation of so much new network cabling, some buildings now have miles and miles of cabling in the ceiling’s and walls of their facility.
Research shows that most areas above today’s raised ceilings and raised floors are plagued by generations of abandoned cables which contribute to the fire hazard and create load problems in our ceilings. The 2002 Code requires that abandoned cable shall be removed from plenum and riser areas. As the code is enforced across the country, building owners will face thousands of dollars in additional cost to remove abandoned cables, tag and manage the remaining cable plant in their riser and communications areas, and insure that tenants install proper cables to meet the building requirements for fire and safety of their other tenants. What is considered an abandoned cable? Article 800.2 of the NEC code clearly defines Abandoned Communications Cable as: “Installed communications cable that is not terminated at both ends at a connector or other equipment and not identified for future use with a tag. “
Test have shown this buildup of old cabling is adding significant fuel to fires once they reach the plenum areas, and that the insulation on many cables that have been used over the years will burn and add to the fire or emit toxic fumes when exposed to fire. This threat to life and safety has led to the incorporation of the requirement to remove abandoned cables in the plenum areas of the building as part of the 2002 NEC code. City and counties across America are incorporating the 2002 code into their building requirements, and most companies routinely add the phases “all construction must meet current national, state and local fire, electrical, life and safety codes” as part of the constriction documentation. This will require the general contractor and or cabling contractor to insure that the cable is properly removed or face the liability of not being in compliance with their contract or with the code and laws of the city or county. While significantly reducing the risk to occupants and firefighters in the event of a fire, this will result in substantial additional cost for most building owners, tenant improvement projects and retrofit or reconfiguration of facilities across this country in the future.
We have already begun to see as significant number of building owners requests the Inventory, Labeling, revised As-Built drawings and documentation so they can begin to get a handle on the cable infrastructure within their facilities. As acceptance of the 2002 code is incorporated into law across the country, more and more facilities will be affected. We expect to see significant focus on the inventory and identification of all cabling infrastructure in the next five years as companies begin to understand both the value of the basic infrastructure and how critical it is to manage the cabling within the building from Riser closets, to telecommunications rooms and all of the cabling that lays overhead in concealed areas within their facilities.
If you would like to see the rest of the article, please send an e-mail to Info@ITRelo.net, requesting a copy of the article on 2002 NEC code changes when published.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you!
Paradise Communications Phone: (925) 683-7916 E-Mail: Info@ITRelo.net
Last modified: 10/04/08 Paradise Communications 2005 Paradise Communications