In the past, as companies moved office locations or upgraded their cabling systems, large amounts of cables were left abandoned in the ceiling spaces, riser systems and air handling systems of buildings. These abandoned cables pose serious concerns for safety due to the increased fuel load during a fire. Consequently, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has written into the National Electric Code (NEC) the requirement for the removal of abandoned cable.
Often the removal of the abandoned cable is performed during the demolition phase of construction. However, it is important to make sure that all the cables to be removed are truly abandoned and are not still being used in adjacent office spaces. The removal of abandoned cable in a working office environment is often a very tedious and labor-intensive process. Fibercom can provide on-site identification and removal of abandoned communications cabling, hardware and equipment and will work closely with you to identify a proper implementation plan to minimize the impact on daily business operations.
In the last several years, the National Fire Protection Agency ("NFPA") and the National Electric Code® ("NEC") have focused their attention on the potential safety threat posed by abandoned cabling throughout our commercial buildings. These abandoned cables are a source for fueling fire, smoke and lethal toxic fumes that can incapacitate and kill. Today, the National Electrical Code (NEC 2002) requires that all abandoned copper and fiber cable be removed. Abandoned wires are defined by the NEC to be the, "Installed cable that is not terminated at both ends at a connector or other equipment and not identified for future use with a tag."
Literally, miles of cabling left in the ceilings and in the walls from previous network and power installations by previous tenants have accumulated in most of our buildings over the last several decades.
These abandoned wires may now render your property out of code, jeopardize your fire insurance, and represent a significant legal liability . The new rules make it a violation to have abandoned wires in your building's risers or plenums and, in addition, mandate the use of specific wiring standards for new installs. Why does abandoned cable present such a problem? The accumulation of miles and miles of cabling left in the ceilings and walls of facilities has become a major concern for life safety over the past 10 years. Cables that are abandoned in ceilings, riser systems, and air-handling systems are a source for fueling fire, smoke, and lethal toxic fumes that can incapacitate, even kill
The new NEC rules are quite complex, and often confusing, causing building owners to wonder which way to turn. Fibercom, with over 15 years of premise wiring experience, has the knowledge and practical expertise to guide you through this rather murky area of danger and liability related to abandoned wiring. Furthermore, we have a highly skilled technical staff capable of performing the identification and removal task according to code and economically.
Looking forward, we support the efforts of each building owner to amend leases and residential rules, so that the building remains in compliance after each tenancy. Leases should clearly state that tenants must remove any cabling that is abandoned during the term of their tenancy, and your license agreements should require service providers to remove all wires upon the termination of the contract. We suggest that you review your leases and license agreements to ascertain exactly who was responsible for the installation and/or abandoning of the cabling and whether you have recourse to recover any of the funds needed to remove the wire. Furthermore, we suggest you make any amendments necessary to be protected by these agreements.
On the other hand, in support of commercial Tenants , we provide technical expertise and cabling installation / cabling removal services which are fully compliant with NEC requirements and can avoid end-of-lease penalties.
As building owners embark on the mandated clean-up effort, we as a premiere cabling company in the field, strongly feel that we have the obligation to reduce the financial impact of bringing buildings into compliance. Simply ripping out and automatically throwing away all cabling not in current use, would be easy for the contractor, but an unacceptable waste for the building owner. The smart, economical solution is, test it, tag it "for future use" and convert a potential liability into a building asset.