January 13, 2016
Fire - Fire

Posted by: Lee Bedingfield 5 minute read

In 1993 Beavis and Butt-head burst onto the scene with their famous slogan.  Even today when someone lights a fire you will hear that phrase uttered so I guess it’s engrained into our popular culture.  In ISP applications, fire is a major issue which factors into the use of MaxCell.  There are two main types of “ratings” and they are plenum and riser.   Plenum derives its classification from HVAC and deals with the space between a drop and standard ceiling or similar areas in floor spaces.  Riser on the other hand is a vertical application such as ducts, pipes, or conduits moving between floors.  These two classifications are generally specified by the designer and are strictly enforced.


So what is the danger in non-plenum and riser rated cables?  The acute concern is from halogenated jacket materials which make up a large portion of general cabling.  Halogens are the second row in the periodic table and are highly reactive.  Some of these cables include PVC, PTFE, Hypalon, Neoprene, etc.  Halogenated jacket materials are highly reactive.  PVC for example gives off thick black smoke that contains hydrochloric acid similar to mustard gas.  Landmark fires such as the Beverly Hills Supper Club in the US and Kink’s Cross Underground Station in the UK led to changes that limit where halogenated cables can be used.


MaxCell has both Plenum and Riser rated products which have been formulated to reduce flame propagation and lower smoke density.  These products have been certified under UL 2024 (Standard for Cable Routing Assemblies and Communications Raceways).  These certifications are recognized in North America and give us authorization to mark our product with Plenum or Riser rating.  For international orders, MaxCell is marked with “FR” for fire retardant.  If you have a specific fire rating need outside NA please contact me to discuss certification.


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