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Thread: Fire door holder

  1. #1
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    Fire door holder

    I am adding some magnetic door holders in a hospital. Does the wiring for the holders need to be in a conduit? If not, then the next question is if it should be in a red cable or not. I don't want to identify the conductors as "fire alarm" if I don't need to since they are not part of the signaling system. In other words, worst case scenario, the wire gets damaged and the door closes(which is what you want it to do in a fire anyway). Any insight would be great.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcleavit View Post
    I am adding some magnetic door holders in a hospital. Does the wiring for the holders need to be in a conduit? If not, then the next question is if it should be in a red cable or not. I don't want to identify the conductors as "fire alarm" if I don't need to since they are not part of the signaling system. In other words, worst case scenario, the wire gets damaged and the door closes(which is what you want it to do in a fire anyway). Any insight would be great.
    You need to understand what codes and standards are in force for your project. In addition to NFPA 70 and 72 (NEC and National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code), are you governed by NFPA 99 (Health Care Facilities Code)? NFPA 99 in particular can be irksome to navigate depending on how the circuits are classified and article 518 in the NEC is important. Finally, there are the project drawings and specifications to consider.

    In general, the door holders will be 24VDC, 24VAC, or 120VAC. At 24VDC, if supplied by a Class 2 or Class 3 power source, you can use CM/CMG, CMR, or CMP listed cable to bring power to the magnet. These are the equivalent of FPL, FPLR, and FPLP and are available in a wide variety of jacket colors. At 24 or 120VAC you can use any suitable Chapter 3 wiring method, subject to the limitations I mentioned above. Many projects discussed on this forum have required hospital-grade MC.

  3. #3
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    My holder's all run on 24V and are fed directly from the fire alarm panel. I was planning on using red 14/2 fire alarm cable and just run it free air since it is not in a plenum. Any reason why that would be an issue?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcleavit View Post
    I am adding some magnetic door holders in a hospital. Does the wiring for the holders need to be in a conduit? If not, then the next question is if it should be in a red cable or not. I don't want to identify the conductors as "fire alarm" if I don't need to since they are not part of the signaling system. In other words, worst case scenario, the wire gets damaged and the door closes(which is what you want it to do in a fire anyway). Any insight would be great.
    Since you are adding an already functioning system, any addition would be a part of an overall fire alarm system.

    You don't want to identify the conductors as fire alarm to what end?

    If it is to circumvent fire alarm system requirement then you are defeating the intent of enforcing NFPA code. It is an industry standard to have red jacket two- conductor for door holder and other signalling devices.

    NEC does not require it to be red. . . only that it should be identified. You still have to adhere to NEC requirement in terms of protecting conductors which you already know.

    Another concern is; adding these holders would effectively alter the original design. Since this is a hospital I'm sure regular maintenance is carried out by fire alarm company which is most likely the company that installed it. I used to work at Simplex.

    You are right that these wires have to originate from the fire alarm panel. For a comprehensive monitoring practice each door holder has its own output signal from the PLC.

    As such, you have to update the software for this addendum and become a part of the document on file in the engineering department.

    You don't want the fire alarm company scratching their head when they come out to perform fire drill test.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcleavit View Post
    My holder's all run on 24V and are fed directly from the fire alarm panel. I was planning on using red 14/2 fire alarm cable and just run it free air since it is not in a plenum. Any reason why that would be an issue?
    There shouldn't be an issue from an NEC or Fire Alarm code aspect, notwithstanding any local amendments. Again, make sure there aren't any spec or drawing notes prohibiting it. Do make sure the cable is properly supported, and that means NOT lying on top of the drop ceiling if that's part of the routing.

    You mention plenum. My experience suggests that as far as cable for fire alarm is concerned, always run FPLP no matter what you are doing. If you make an ooops!, how many man-hours would it take to correct? The cost difference between FPL or FPLR and FPLP is so small that you'd have to run between 5,000 and 10,000 feet to equal the cost of one man-hour's worth of labor, counting both the direct cost to re-run the work and the lost billable hours that didn't get charged elsewhere.

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