With new developments in wire and cable technology and recent changes in the NEC, a variety of new products have become available. These new CI cables are commonly used in fire alarm and voice communications systems. NEC 760.176 (F) requires CI cables for NFPA fire alarm systems used to meet the survivability of critical circuits requirements and be listed for that function per NFPA 72. Conformance to the code requirements of circuit survivability will ensure the performance of the fire alarm system during a fire emergency.
CI cable also provides flexibility in planning cable routing while minimizing wall and shaft construction. CI cable is typically soft ceramifiable silicone rubber insulation with solid copper conductors. Ceramifiable silicone rubber insulation is soft and flexible until subjected to high temperatures. These CI cable constructions are as flexible as standard fire alarm cables, making them as easy to install as cables that are not fire-rated. They can be installed in standard raceways and conduit and require no special tools or hardware. Special training to handle or install is also not needed as is with MI cable.