CSA Flame Test Ratings

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The National Electrical Code is a set of guidelines describing procedures which minimize the hazards of electrical shock, fires, and explosions caused by electrical installation. The text of the NEC is contained in nine chapters, each chapter broken into individual articles. NEC types are acronyms consisting of a prefix describing cable type (e.g. coax, CATV, fiber optic) and a suffix indicating the type of flame test it has passed and where it can be installed. Articles describing wire and cable products including required cable markings are listed in the chart below.

NEC

Article
Type

Test Requirement NEC Article
Plenum Riser Commercial Residential
725   CL2 Class 2 Cables CL2P CL2R CL2 CL2X*
CL3 Class 3 cables CL3P CL3R CL3 CL3X*
PLTC

A stand-alone class. This is a power limited tray cable a CL3-type cable which can be

used outdoors, is sunlight- and moisture-resistant and must pass the Vertical Tray flame test.

None None PLTC None
760 FPL

Power limited, fire protective signaling circuit cable

FPLP FPLR FPL None
770 OFC

Fiber cable also containing metallic conductors

OFCP OFCR OFCG, OFC None
OFN Fiber cable only containing optical fibers OFNP OFNR OFNG, OFN None
800 CM Communications CMP CMR CMG, CM CMX*
MP Multi-Purpose Cables MPP MPR MPG, MP None
820 CATV Community antenna television CATVP CATVR CATV CATVX**
830 BM Network-powered broadband communications cable BLP BMR BM BLX
*Cable diameter must be less than 0.250″ **Cable diameter must be less than 0.375″

C(UL) Certifications;
UL/NEC-Approved cables may also be C(UL)/CEC-Approved as communications cables meeting the requirements of the Bi-National Standard CSA C22.2 No. 214/UL 444 and Section 60 of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CEC). The C(UL) cable designation (and its meaning) would be one of the following:

1. CMP Cable meeting CSA FT6 or NFPA 262 (UL 910);
2. CMR Cable meeting UL 1666, CSA FT4
3. CMG Cable meeting CSA FT4
4. CM Cable meeting UL 1685 (UL 1581, Sec. 1160) Vertical-Tray, CSA FT1
5. CMX Cable meeting UL 1581, Sec. 1080 (VW-1), CSA FT1
6. CMH Cable meeting CSA FT1.

FLAME TESTS
FT1

FT1 Vertical Flame Test per C.S.A. C22.2 No. 0.3-92 Para 4.11.1

A finished cable shall not propagate a flame or continue to burn for more than one (1) minute after five (5) fifteen (15) second applications of the test flame. There is an interval of fifteen (15) seconds between flame applications. The flame test shall be performed in accordance with Para 4.11.1 of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard C22.2 No. 0.3. In addition, if more than 25% of the indicator flag is burned, the test cable fails. FT1 Cables can be used in Combustible buildings.

FT4

FT4 Vertical Flame Test Cables in Cable Trays per C.S.A. C22.2 No. 0.3-92 Para 4.11.4

The FT4 Vertical Flame Test Cables in Cable Trays is similar to the UL-1685 Vertical Tray Flame Test, but is more severe. The FT4 test has its burner mounted at 20 from the horizontal with the burner ports facing up. The UL-1685 Vertical Tray has its burner at 0 from the horizontal. The FT4 samples must be larger than 13mm (.512″) in diameter. If not, then the cable samples are grouped in units of at least three (3) to obtain a grouped overall diameter of 13mm. The UL-1581 Vertical Tray does not distinguish on cable size. The FT4 has a maximum char height of 1.5 m (59″) measured from the lower edge of the burner face. The UL-1685 has a flame height allowable up to approximately 78″ measured from the burner. FT4 Cables can be used in Non-Combustible buildings.

FT6

FT6 Horizontal Flame & Smoke Test per C.S.A. C22.2 No. 0.3-92 Appendix B

Products passing the FT6 Horizontal Flame and Smoke Test are designated FT6 in the column where the trade number appears. This test is for cables which must pass a Horizontal Flame and Smoke Test in accordance with ANSI/NFPA Standard 262-1985 (UL-910). The maximum flame spread shall be 1.50 meters (4.92 ft.). The smoke density shall be 0.5 at peak optical density and 0.15 at maximum average optical density.

Combustible Construction

Combustible Construction; means that type of construction that does not meet the requirement for noncombustible construction. Combustible means that a material fails to meet the acceptance criteria of CAN/ULC S114, (Standard Method of test for determination of non-combustibility in Building Materials) (ref: NBC Part 1 Section 1.1.3.2).

Noncombustible Construction

Non-Combustible Construction; means that type of construction in which a degree of fire safety is

attained by the use of noncombustible materials for structural members and other building

assemblies. Non-Combustible means that a material meets the acceptance criteria of CAN/ULC S114, (Standard Method of test for determination of non-combustibility in Building Materials) (ref: NBC Part 1.1.3.2).

Cable Substitution Hierarchy as per C22.2 #214 Communication Cables

The following cable substitution may be used:

A. Communication cables marked MPP, CMP, MPR, CMR, MPG, CMG, MP, CM, CMX, CMH, FT6, and FT4 have been found to meet the standard criteria for FT1.


B.
Communication cables marked MPP, CMP, MPR, CMR, MPG, CMG, and FT6 have been found to meet the standard criteria for FT4.


C.
Communication cables marked MPP and CMP have been found to meet the standard criteria for FT6.