Underwriters Laboratories (UL) reported on September 17, 2012, that it would no longer offer certification for fire-resistive cable, electrical circuit protective systems, and circuit-integrity cable testing conducted in accordance with UL 2196 Test for Fire Resistive Cables.
The abrupt decision was based on UL’s internal test results taken from a wide array of current products and systems originally certified to UL 2196. Results showed inconsistencies in achieving the two-hour fire resistive ratings of UL 2196. Furthermore, UL was unable to confirm any reaction between the zinc found in rigid metal conduit and fire-resistive and circuit-integrity cables. As a result, manufacturers are no longer authorized to place the UL mark on fire-resistive cable and circuit-integrity cable. UL has removed its certification directory, Electrical Circuit Protective Systems constructed with Fire Resistive Cable.
Certification will remain on hold while UL’s relevant technical committee (UL 2196 STP) determines appropriate next steps. In the meantime, UL will be offering an interim certification program for fire-resistive cable and circuit-integrity cable in accordance with UL 2196.
The interim certification does away with representative testing. Testing for each cable construction will be based on five samples and all five samples must achieve compliance to be considered eligible for certification. Additional information can be found on UL’s website.