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December 12, 2005

                           []< ET NEWS                                 
Issue No. 181   12-12-2004

- News
- ET News Journal
- Job Opportunities
- Fire Alarm Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements


City OKs tougher fire protections
Pioneer Press Online - Glenview,IL,USA
A number of high-occupancy buildings will be required to upgrade their fire
protection, adding sprinkler systems under legislation that fanned less
controversy ...


City of Montrose looks to update 1997 Uniform Building Code
Montrose Daily Press - Montrose,CO,USA
The city has been using the Uniform Building Code since 1997, but wants to
switch to the 2003 International Building Code since the UBC no longer exists. .


City ignores state code requiring fire sprinklers
Chicago Daily Southtown - Chicago,IL,USA
... "I am writing to remind you the state adopted the 2000 Edition of NFPA's
(National Fire Protection Association) Life Safety Code as the fire safety
standard ...


I'll see you in Happyrock this week. 

Have fun!





I run a small, three-person alarm installation company. My company just
completed a fire alarm system installation for a five-story office building.
My two installers and I chose fire alarm system control units that had all
initiating device circuits and notification appliance circuits designated as
power-limited. We used a combination of U.L. Listed power-limited fire alarm
cables in the installation.  We ran many Type FPLP cables above the suspended
ceilings in each floor of the office building.  The AHJ has just "dinged" us for
not securing the cables to allow the ceiling tiles of the suspended ceiling to
be removed without snagging the cables.  In order to comply with his request, we
would have had to remove many ceiling tiles when we were installing the cables
and secure the cables somehow.  Our normal practice is to just throw a fish line
across the ceiling space and pull the cable across.  This way we remove as few
ceiling tiles as possible.  Where does he get such a requirement? 


The Authority Having Jurisdiction in your locale has obviously spent some time
reading NFPA 70-2002, National Electrical Code.  Section 300.23 states the

300.23 Panels Designed to Allow Access.  Cables, raceways, and equipment
installed behind panels designed to allow access, including suspended ceiling
panels, shall be arranged and secured so as to allow the removal of panels and
access to the equipment.  This requirement of the NEC clearly requires you to
secure the cables installed above the suspended ceiling.  The Authority Having
Jurisdiction may also have read the following Sections:

760.5 Access to Electrical Equipment Behind Panels Designed to Allow Access.
Access to electrical equipment shall not be denied by an accumulation of
conductors and cables that prevents removal of panels, including suspended
ceiling panels.

760.6 Mechanical Execution of Work.  Fire alarm circuits shall be installed in a
neat and workmanlike manner.  Cables and conductors installed exposed on the
surface of ceiling and sidewalls shall be supported by structural components of
the building in such a manner that the cable or conductors will not be damaged
by normal building use.  Such cables shall be attached to structural components
by straps, staples, hangers, or similar fittings designed and installed so as
not to damage the cable.  The installation shall also conform with 300.4(D). 

300.4 Protection Against Physical Damage.  Where subject to physical damage,
conductors shall be adequately protected.
(D) Cables and Raceways Parallel to Framing Members.  In both exposed and
concealed locations, where a cable- or raceway-type wiring method is installed
parallel to framing members, such as joists, rafters, or studs, the cable or
raceway shall be installed and supported so that the nearest outside surface of
the cable or raceway is not less than 32 mm (1 1/4 in.) from the nearest edge of
the framing member where nails or screws are likely to penetrate.  Where this
distance cannot be maintained, the cable or raceway shall be protected from
penetration by nails or screws by a steel plate, sleeve, or equivalent at least
1.6 mm (1/16 in.) thick.

Exception No. 1: Steel plates, sleeves, or the equivalent shall not be required
to protect rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic
conduit, or electrical metallic tubing. 

Exception No. 2: For concealed work in finished buildings, or finished panels
for prefabricated buildings where such supporting is impracticable, it shall be
permissible to fish the cables between access points.

As you can see from these several requirements of the NEC, your method of
opening up one or two ceiling tiles and throwing a fish line so you can drag the
cables across the suspended ceiling will not permit you to properly secure the
cables as the NEC requires.  We do congratulate you on selecting the appropriate
type of cable based on the circuit designations of the fire alarm system control
unit you chose to use for this installation.  By using Type FPLP cable for
installation above the suspended ceiling in an "other space used for
environmental air," you have distinguished yourself from far too many of your
peers who do not understand the importance of the choice of cable.

Wayne Moore and Dean Wilson are senior engineers at Hughes Associates, Inc., a
leading international provider of engineering and research services to the fire
protection field, including fire hazard and risk assessment services, fire
protection systems design and testing, code consulting, loss control, and
forensic engineering services.  Its clientele includes architects, building
owners and manufacturing companies in the private sector, as well as the
Department of Defense and other governmental bodies.  For more information on
Hughes Associates and its services, call (410) 737-8677. Web site address: 

Subscribe to The Moore-Wilson Signaling Report:


JOB OPPORTUNITY and SEEKING EMPLOYMENT announcements are provided as a service.
ET News provides a venue for direct contact between job seekers and employers.
ET News is not a placement agency and does not endorse either job seekers or



"... a sales position in the Portland [OR] market. This position is with a major
national company and they are looking for an experienced integration sales-rep
with the ability and desire to make their mark. The compensation structure is
both competitive and flexible as this firm believes that the right person is
worth the money. ..."

Ron Barak


Send your announcement to: 
or post your own ad:


Contact me to find out how your group can sponsor an AFAA seminar.

December 15-16, 2004 Albuquerque, NM
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)

January 11-13, 2005 Kansas City, MO
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)

January 18-20, 2005 Las Vegas, NV
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements

January 25-27, 2005 Rogers, AR
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)

February 22-24, 2005 Honolulu, HI
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar 
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III & IV)
More info to follow


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This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.