Every year client businesses all over the nation spend thousands of dollars in technology to expand and upgrade their network cabling infrastructure to improve productivity. In some cases, copper had given away to fiber, USB to Firewire and HDMI, POTS lines to T-1 and ISDN lines. Every new installation means an increased number of cables that are sometimes, cut and left in drop ceilings, floors, walls and Telecom Rooms. This abandoned cable is now coming under more and more scrutiny by local governments and commercial property owners. The reason is that most of outdated cable contains poisonous and highly flammable materials that, if caught on fire, can be fatal to people in the vicinity of the fumes. Some of the materials used in the outside jacket of older cable contain insulation materials that have the same Btu content of gasoline which could cause even more property damage as well as loss of life.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has revised the National Electrical Code in order to address this issue. Abandoned and unused cables that are not terminated and/or identified for future use must be removed. There are many older facilities that may have several generations of cables that traverse through ceilings, floors, walls and Telecom Rooms. The task of discerning and distinguishing between functioning and abandoned cables can be monumentally difficult. Old Network (Voice and Data), audio visual, coaxial and fiber optic cable are all subject to change in code. Local governments, building owners, property and facility managers have increased the enforcement efforts and even insurance companies have become equally vigilant in their fire coverage for these older buildings.
Where local governments have adopted these new codes and standards, violations can subject owners to fines and levies and commercially, they can affect owner’s loan covenants, access to insurances which leads to higher lease rates to new tenants and liabilities to any victims of fire. More and more, property owners, property managers, and facility managers are recognizing the severe implications of the code change for their businesses as well as their tenant’s safety, but are confused on how to correct the problem in their buildings.
BTC will survey client facilities, perform an audit and document cables that are in use. All cables that are in question will be toned, tested and identified and will then be removed, end to end with minimal disruption to daily and functioning business operations.