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Improving the fire safety of Canada’s plenum cables


February 9, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

Canada’s current National Building Code (NBC) places no limits on the smoke generation potential of computer cables installed in air plenum spaces. In March 2009, the Standing Committee on Fire Prevention will be voting on a proposal that only FT-6 (plenum) -rated cables may be installed in the air plenums of Canada’s commercial buildings.

When
the FT-4 rating was originally assigned to cables in air plenums, the
consequent risk was low because the quantity of computer cabling was
low. This is no longer the case, says Marek Kapuscinski of Canada’s arm
of the CFRA (Cable Fire Research Association), adding that there’s a
proposal to recognize that cable smoke emission controls must be
introduced. The proposal would bring all of Canada up to the same
safety standard already in place in Ontario and Vancouver, B.C., as
well as the majority of the States, adds Kapuscinski.




E-mail marekap@gmail.com for additional information.