I ran CAt5e through a commercial "fire break". Did i do it correctly?

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Old 10-23-12, 11:10 AM
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I ran CAt5e through a commercial "fire break". Did i do it correctly?

Hello all. This is my first post so hope its of some value for everyone else out there Your insight is much appreciated.

I was contracted to connect 2 retail shops in a shopping center together for cat5 data. There are 2 other shops between the 2 shops that needed to be connected. Each shop was on the outer ends of the shopping center. The run was less than 150'. The building is a single story with attic access across each of the shops. On one side of the building there was what the building owner called a "fire break" that separated the shop on the end and the shop next door. From what i saw i estimated the "break" to be an air gap with drywall on each side covered by the roof of the structure. I found a location near the attic decking that allowed enough space to slip a fish-tape between the decking and the bottom of the drywall and ran my cat5 to get through that. I did not drill any holes, put in any conduit or any fire proof sealant. Did i do this incorrectly? I did notice some other low voltage wire running similarly with no sealant or conduit and based my assumption a subsequent actions off of that. Job was done in Denton county, Texas.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 11:55 AM
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Welcome to the forum.
That would not be a fire break if you where able to pass cables through without drilling. If a cable can pass, so can air, smoke or fire.
As for the cat5e... Did you use plenum cable?

I believe CAT6 is certified to pass directly through firewalls. I can not remember if CAT5e had this certification as well (don't think so). Not that what you describe would be rated as a fire wall.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 03:31 PM
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What Mike said. Additionally, use caution when performing duties at commercial sites, as your liability increases considerably, especially since you don't own the buildings.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 05:09 PM
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Thanks for the feedback all. I did not use plenum cable as the attic space is not a plenum space, meaning that all the air is contained within a duct system throughout the attic.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 07:27 PM
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I do know that Cat5e plenum is rated for penetrating fire walls, but the penetrations would still need fire caulk. I also agree with Mike, if you did not drill/cut/break, it is not a fire wall.
 
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Old 10-23-12, 10:31 PM
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Does this attic have a floor, or is it just exposed joists with some kind of sheetrock ceiling attached on the bottom?

If it has a floor, in the future you may want to define a pathway and suspend J-hooks from the roof structure, working the cost of the J-hooks into your bid. You might also, in the future, want to drill through the "firewall", install a sleeve of a short remnant of conduit, firestop around it, pull your cable through, and then firestop inside with a product like STI's firestop plug, which is removable and reinsertable until the temperature of a fire activates it, so you can reuse the sleeve later for more cables.

Even if there's no floor, just the ceiling joists, defining a pathway can help keep it a lot easier for down the road, and will also help reduce the likelihood of being called back out to warranty-repair the cable if someone else inadvertently messes it up while doing something with their retail space and the attic above it.

I'm going through this at work now- we have sixty year old buildings that have had penetrations made with hammers and have large holes cut in walls that some have used for cabling over the decades, and weird cables slipped in through cracks and crevasses that technically shouldn't even have been allowed to be gaps.
 
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Old 11-08-12, 12:55 PM
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Appreciation Reply

excellent ideas. Thanks for the tips.

Forums Admin Note:
Post was returned here and retitled.
Kindly excuse an error....
Prior moved incorrectly.
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 11-08-12 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Post Returned
 

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