Tech Brief: UL 2196 Sets the Standard for VITALink® Cables

For years, Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) has redefined industry and workplace safety for both the production and use of products as well as the overall public safety of the individuals using them. Their standards and certifications allow the public to trust the authenticity and quality of products as well as their ability to maintain safe environments for everyone. The UL 2196 standard ensures cables will maintain circuit integrity for at least 2 hours in a fire, allowing time for building occupants to evacuate safely.

UL 2196 Testing

After surviving the extreme heat and hose stream during the 2 hour test, VITALink cables continue to operate without ever losing signal.

The integrity of communication cables in a building during a fire or a catastrophic event is essential to maintaining emergency response and safety. UL 2196 evaluates the ability of circuit integrity cables to maintain signal connection when subjected to fire conditions and a pressurized hose stream.

The procedure is as follows: The cables are secured to a wall either in conduit or free air, depending on the listing. The cables are terminated and the wall is connected to a furnace for 2 hours at temperatures up to 1850°F, while circuits are monitored closely for leakage current. After 2 hours, the wall is removed and exposed to a pressurized hose stream before the circuits are energized again. All the circuits must work for a passing test.

These are strict guidelines, as UL Standard 2196 requires 5 out of 5 system tests to pass. Cable installed in a 90° curved conduit must pass the same testing in order to meet ULC-S19, the circuit integrity listing in Canada.

Protecting Lives One Signal at a Time

In order to meet UL 2196, VITALink®, Comtran’s product line of fire resistant cables, is designed with a type of insulation that hardens at high temperatures, sufficiently protecting the wires and their transmissions during a fire. It features a low smoke, zero halogen (LSZH) jacket, reducing smoke and flame toxicity. Comtran’s VITALink® circuit integrity cables are the go-to solution for applications that are critical to life safety.

What This Means for Real-Time Applications?

In the event of an emergency, VITALink® cables continue to function and allow for efficient communications and evacuation systems to work so people can safely exit the area. This can save the lives of many people. The cables are applicable in commercial and residential buildings such as hospitals, tunnels, schools, airports, apartment complexes, and more.

A Solution for Every Application

  • VITALink® CI/CIC Cables – Dual rated for installations either with or without conduit. Used in systems including emergency voice-alarm communications (EVAC), smoke and fire alarm systems, fireman’s telephones, area of refuge communications, visible notification devices, and pressurized stairway system
  • VITALink® Ethernet Cables – Used in systems including emergency VoIP communications, such as speakers and telephones, IP area of refuge communication devices, addressable Class N fire alarm devices, and critical data communication circuit
  • VITALink® Armored Cables – Located in transit tunnels and platforms, underground and below grade structures, parking garages, and petrochemical, nuclear, and waste treatment facilities. Also suitable for commercial retrofits with non-UL 2196 approved conduit.

If you are looking for a versatile solution to promote the safety of your building communications, call Comtran at 800-842-7809 to speak with a representative.

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