Skip to main content

Fire-Rated Wiring vs. Concrete Construction

Are You Meeting NFPA Life Safety Code?

Traditionally, the encasement of non fire-rated cables in 2” of concrete was accepted as a form of fire building protection. However, changing codes and listings mean that new technology may be needed to ensure a building is fully protected for two hours. 

Don’t Skimp on Safety 

Over time, as building design and construction has evolved, so have safety standards. By 2017, 42 U.S. states and Canada mandated a minimum two-hour fire rating for critical circuits in buildings. 

This means, circuits must operate for a minimum of two hours during a fire test, as specified by National Fire protection association, per the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) test-temperature curve.

Is Concrete Fire Resistant Enough?

The fire resistant concrete method is the practice of: 

  • Encasing non fire-rated wiring in 2” of concrete
  • Surrounding cables with drywall, or  gypsum board 
  • Running cables through concrete blocks 

These methods were developed when codes only required one hour of fire protection. To achieve the listed requirements, concrete construction now needs to be four or five inches thick. 

With availability of fire proof cable, building professionals are better equipped to specify safety systems that can be tested, and guarantee protection.

 

 

nVent PYROTENAX

Concrete Encasement

Warranty 

YES (30 Years)

NO 

Inorganic Construction

YES 

SOMETIMES

UL/ULC Fire Rated

YES

NO 

Free Air Rated

YES

NO 

Broad Distribution

YES

YES

Trade Sensitivity

MEDIUM 

HIGH 

Space Required

LOW

MEDIUM/HIGH 

Ideal for Retrofits 

YES

NO 

Mechanical Strength (Ability to withstand a blow, falling concrete, etc.) 

HIGH 

MEDIUM

fire protection systems

Mineral Insulated Wiring vs Polymeric Alternatives

Read more
cable amapacity

Mineral Insulated Wiring for Electrical Modernization

Read more

Ready to Learn More?

electrical modernization of buildings
Don’t take our word for it. Download the latest research report published by the National Fire Protection Agency on the concrete fire resistance rating. You’ll also receive our whitepaper laying out the evolution of NFPA codes and standards.
Download Now

Looking for more information about nVent PYROTENAX two hour fire rated cables?

Unsure where to start? For all your design, product and service questions, reach out to one of our experts today.