Fire alarm systems are an important part for any business, school, facility, home and much more. They protect us when alerts arise and deliver notification of potential threat and harm. Fire alarm cables have many applications when it comes to assisting in the safety of those within a building including fire alarms, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, voice communications, power-limited circuit cable, critical circuit controls, signaling and indoor non-conduit per the National Electric Code (NEC).
There are two main types of fire alarm cables - power limited and non-power limited. Below are the six different types of fire alarm cables with both power limited and non-power limited specifications.
Power Limited Fire Alarm Cables
FPL - The most basic type of fire alarm cable, FPL is a power-limited fire alarm riser cable that is usually the least expensive option. FPLR cables are suitable for use in a vertical run through a shaft or from floor to floor in a building. These cables are recognized by the NEC.
FPLR Shielded - These cables have the same components of the standard FPLR fire alarm cable, but include an aluminum polyester foil shield and drain wire to protect against outside interference.
FPLP - A power-limited plenum cable that is recognized by the NEC for use in air ducts and plenum spaces and any other space that is used for the flow of environmental air. All FPLP cables are listed as having adequate fire-resistant and low-smoke-producing characteristics. These cables tend to be a little bit more expensive due to the additional engineering and protection they offer.
FPLP Shielded - These cables have the same components as FPLP power limited plenum fire alarm cables with an aluminum polyester foil shield and drain wire to block any additional interference within a cable.
Non-Power Limited Fire Alarm Cables
NPLF - Non-power limited fire alarm cables are suitable for all general fire alarm cable uses. However, they cannot be used in riser, ducts, or plenum spaces that are used for environmental air flow unless they are properly installed within a conduit. NPLF cables are recognized by the NEC.
NPLFP - These cables are also recognized by the NEC but are suitable for installation in ducts, plenums and other spaces where environmental air flows.