UL recently posted a Public Notice for a suspension of standard UL 2196 that impacts some fire resistive electrical cables and systems, specifically Electrical Circuit Protective Systems (ECPS) within the categories FHIT for UL and FHJR for ULC. NFPA recommends you review this public notice on UL’s website. UL offered the following additional background and recommendations:
LOCATION OF THESE WITHDRAWN SYSTEMS:
These systems are primarily installed in mixed occupancy high-rise buildings, and in tunnels, bridges, and other commercial infrastructures. In many circumstances, the referenced systems exist in conjunction with other fire mitigation system options, which are not in question. Within a building or structure, the locations of these fire resistive circuit cable systems are typically found as part of in the following life safety installations:
- Fire pump- Feeder/controls
- Smoke control equipment
- Command center critical systems
- Pressurized stairway systems
- Smoke management systems
- Fire alarm systems
- Electrical Equipment Rooms - Feeders/Service
- Emergency Generators and Standby Power Systems
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BUILDINGS CLOSE TO COMPLETION OR AWAITING SIGN-OFF
UL is recommending you consider a “performance approach” to assessing the building’s unique situation. First, utilize a team to review and identify risks in the building (e.g. are there redundant systems in place and is there a need for an additional fire mitigating system?) Specific to the installed or almost installed ECPS, guide the team to consider the following variables:
- Distance of cable in ECPS
- Location of current system
- Redundant systems currently in place
- Is COPS classification essential to owner?
- Number of stories in building
- Use of the building
- Occupancy of building
- Fuel loading
- Sprinkler system coverage
- Fire alarm systems
Assessing these variables will help evaluate risk and determine next best steps. Because there is so much variability to buildings that may have an Electrical Circuit Protective Systems (ECPS), it is impossible to recommend one solution to fit all building/structure types.
A FAQ is also posted on the UL website.
For additional questions, please contact, Bob James, Robert.J.James@UL.com; phone 813-956-8669. He is a member of UL’s Regulatory Services Staff, whose general email address is: ULRegulatoryServices@UL.com.
NFPA will be reviewing this Public Notice to determine its impact on any NFPA codes or standards and working with the appropriate technical committees.