A Fire Safety Task Force consisting of representatives from UL’s Fire and Electrical Councils recently met and offers the following guidelines. Because of the variability in the design and construction of buildings and other structures that may have an electrical circuit integrity system (ECIS), it is difficult to determine if any corrective action is needed. We recommend that code authorities, contractors, architects, and building owners work with fire protection specialists to determine the reliance on these products and systems for code compliance and then decide if any action is required.

In determining if corrective action is necessary, we suggest you consider a performance approach to assess the building’s unique situation. First, employ a safety team to review and identify risks in the building (e.g., are there redundant systems in place, and is there a need for an additional fire mitigating system?). Specific to the installed or specified ECIS, guide the team to consider all relevant factors and variables, including, but not limited to, the following:

• Length of cable in ECIS

• Location and access of current system cable

• Redundant protection systems currently in place

• Is Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) classification essential to owner?

• Number of stories in building

• Occupancy (type) of building

• Fuel loading

• Sprinkler coverage

• Fire alarm system coverage

Assessing these variables will help your team determine if any action is needed.

Source: Underwriters Laboratories (UL)