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Raceways in buildings of combustible construction
Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:00
I have CFAA's book, Fire Alarm Systems A Reference Manual, in which it says (page 11-6) that metal conduit or armored cable must be used (or non-metallic conduit in concrete or underground), but that "there are exceptions for buildings of combustible construction." Can anyone tell me what the exceptions are? (I haven't got a copy of CAN/ULC-S524 yet.) Robert
Re: Raceways in buildings of combustible construction
Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 5:47
Exceptions to any rules are at the discretion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction. In this case, you would have to consult with the local electrical inspector and/or plan examiner and review any relevant bulletins.
In combustible buildings in several jurisdictions here in the Lower Mainland where a number of fire alarm systems are being upgraded, I've seen instances where they allow you to surface run unarmoured fire cable down a hallway and then cover it with crown moulding. You still have to firestop all the wall penetrations though. If you're running cable behind drywall, it doesn't have to be armoured (and you can tack it to the wall studs as you would Lumex). All exposed wire runs have to be physically protected with surface wire-mould, EMT or flexible armour (BX).
Additionally you must follow the fire equipment manufacturer's recommendation with respect to wire type and gauge. This is one aspect of the installation where deviations won't be allowed.