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Fire Resistive Cable Update

Posted By Underwriters Laboratories, Monday, June 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013

Question

Has there been any progress made on changes to UL2196 and ULC-S139? Are the standards still active? Are there any new certifications?

Answer

Yes to all three questions. Initial research has been completed and a joint U.S. and Canada standards working group of the consensus based technical committee has been formed to determine what upgrades in requirements are necessary to deliver a single, harmonized bi-national standard. The group will focus on a strategy to address installation variables, sampling requirements for testing, and the need for any further research.

UL and ULC continue to maintain an active certification program for fire resistive and CI cable. While UL and ULC authorization for certification was initially discontinued in September of 2012, an interim program was quickly developed and we re-established certification in December of 2012. UL and ULC have been working closely with manufacturers to fully understand how variables impact performance of cables and systems. The interim program focuses on three key factors:

1. The need to establish repeatability, which includes testing of five samples of cable with all of the necessary system components

2. Whether representative testing may be possible in some cases if the critical variables of the fire resistive and CI cable system are understood (i.e., conductor size, conduit type, fitting, etc.) and a worst case configuration can be determined

3. An enhanced follow-up services process designed to evaluate continued compliance

To date, two cable manufacturers have achieved certification under the interim program. These cables systems appear under UL’s Product Category, Electrical Circuit Integrity Systems (FHIT). A MI Cable achieved a two-hour Fire Rating and is covered under System Number 1850. The second cable is a MC Cable with a one-hour fire rating under System Number 120. More are expected in the near future. You can view these systems online at www.ul.com/database and enter FHIT at the category code search field.

We will continue to provide updates related to the above on the Fire page of the UL Code Authorities web page (ul.com/fireratedcables). Please contact Bob James (robert.j.james@ul.com)or Al Ramirez (alfredo.m.ramirez@ul.com)with any questions or comments.


Question 

2011 NEC 410.16(C)(5) states that "Surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires shall be permitted to be installed within the storage space where identified for this use.” Are there any luminaires certified (Listed) for this use and how are they identified?

Answer

Yes, there are some certified (Listed) luminaires that have been evaluated for use in a clothes closet. UL has certified luminaires that are transparent closet rod tubes with an integral fluorescent luminaire for this use under the product category Fluorescent Surface Mounted Luminaries (IEUZ) located on page 180 in the 2013 UL White Book. In addition, UL has certified a transparent closet rod tube with an integral LED luminaire for this use under the product category Low-Voltage Lighting Systems, Power Units, Luminaires and Fittings (IFDR) located on page 189 of the 2013 UL White Book. These luminaires have been evaluated and found to operate with surface temperatures sufficiently low so as to not present a risk of ignition to fabrics or materials that may be in contact with them, even under conditions where ventilation of the luminaire is inhibited by these materials. The luminaires are permitted to be marked "Suitable for Installation in the Storage Area of a Clothes Closet.” These product categories can also be viewed on UL’s Online Certification Database at www.ul.com/database and enter IEUZ or IFDR at the category code search field.

In addition to the luminaire evaluation, the rod/luminaire is subjected to a 4 times rated loading test, so that if it is rated for 50 lbs. it has undergone a 200 lb. loading test.


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Tags:  July-August 2013  UL Question Corner 

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