Previously, we discussed the National Fire Protection Code (NFPA 72) fire alarm survivability circuit requirements. As a fire-alarm system integrator or electrical contractor, when installing a life-safety system in a building that is 75 feet or taller or houses 1,000 occupants or more, in order to remain code compliant you must satisfy this mandatory specification. However, confusion remains as to the viable options for meeting such a critical requirement.
Today, let’s expound upon and define Pathway Survivability.
The 2013 Edition of the NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, Chapter 12.4 Pathway Survivability, requires that all pathways comply with NFPA 70, National Electric Code. Additionally, performance and survivability characteristics of signaling pathways (interconnections) shall comply with the defined designations in this chapter.
Pathway survivability levels 0 to 4 are defined as follows:
Level 0 pathways shall not be required to have any provisions for pathway survivability. Level 1 shall consist of pathways in buildings that are fully protected by an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. Pathway survivability level 2 shall consist of one or more of the following:
(1) 2-hour fire-rated circuit integrity (CI) cable.
(2) 2-hour fire-rated cable system [electrical circuit protective systems].
(3) 2-hour fire-rated enclosure or protected area.
(4) 2-hour performance alternatives approved by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
Finally, level 3 pathways shall consist of one or more of the above, and be fully protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
Radix Wire’s DuraLifeTM FPL cables not only satisfy the NFPA 72 requirements as a 2-hour fire-rated electrical circuit protective system, they’re also the least expensive and most flexible UL 2196 cables available. DuraLifeTM offers the most certified installation options making it the easiest to install, lowest-cost method of NFPA 72 code compliance to date!