Beware of cabling contractors using noncompliant cables
The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (“CCCA”) has found that certain imported communications cable does not comply with National Electrical Code (“NEC”) standards. Contractors that install this non-compliant cable, whether known to the contractor or not, may be exposed to liability for violating applicable building codes and in civil lawsuits for damages caused by the installation of non-compliant cable. Background about this issue and an overview of potential liability are provided herein.
The CCCA has tested communications plenum cables (“CMP”) and communications riser cables (“CMR”) from lesser-known offshore manufacturers that import to the United States. Many of those tested fail to comply with the minimum requirements for fire safety established by the NEC, published by the National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”). Some were found to catastrophically fail the required standards, and cables from these same manufacturers have the potential of flooding the U.S. market. These cable products are typically sold by certain U.S. distributors online or through “brick and mortar” facilities.