Circuit Integrity Solutions for Critical Operations Facilities (COPS)

This week we will be exploring some of the uses of circuit integrity solutions for critical operations facilities (COPS). The electrical installation requirements for these facilities are covered in Article 708 of the National Electrical Code. The Article covers all aspects of electrical installation requirements for these facility types, but the section that pertains to the Radix DuraLife solution is 708.14, wiring for HVAC, fire alarm, security, emergency communications, and signaling systems.

If the Architect and building department in your municipality deems your building a critical operations facility, these installation requirements will have to be followed in addition to the appropriate design criteria in the International Building Code and the Life Safety Code (if adopted by local authorities).

Article 708 has some of the following requirements for low voltage circuits:

  • Circuits must be physically protected in conduit as per 708.10
  • All conductors operating over 50V must have a 600V conductor rating
  • All cables for fire alarm, security, signal systems, and emergency communications shall be twisted continually shielded
  • All cables for fire alarm, security, and signaling systems shall be riser rated and shall be a listed 2-hour electrical circuit protective system

While DuraLife brand cables are available to meet all of the above requirements, particular attention should be paid to the second bullet point. If you are using Radix DuraLife to run your data loop circuits, circuit returns, RS485 communications, strobe circuits etc.: there should be no issues as most of these operate at 24V. However, if audio circuits are used to power speakers, amplifiers should be set to 25W instead of 70W in order to avoid the 600V conductor requirement, and save money on the installation by not having to install a mineral insulated 600V product or something similar.

As we talk to our customers, systems designers, and code authorities, we will be updating you on recent survivability requirement applications and code changes as they become available.

Alex Dimitriu
(516) 884-3858