In 2002, a new provision to The National Electrical Code required the removal of abandoned cable. The majority of jurisdictions in the United States adopt the NEC by reference into local building and fire codes, which are then enforced by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). All new Telecom Infrastructure Projects must be aware of the potential impact.
According to estimates, there are over 45 billion feet of plenum cable in place in buildings. The National Electrical Code (NEC) now requires that all abandoned copper and fiber cable be removed. Abandoned cable is defined as "installed communications cable that is not terminated at both ends at a connector or other equipment and not identified ´For Future Use´ with a tag" (Paragraphs 800.2 and 770.2 of NEC 2005).
The accumulation of more than 8.5 million miles of cabling left in the ceilings and walls of facilities has become a major concern for health and life safety over the years. Cables that are abandoned in ceilings, riser systems, and air handling systems are a source for fueling fire, smoke and toxic fumes that can incapacitate. In addition, some leaded PVC cable jackets tend to break down over time. This decomposition process may produce lead dust in the air systems. All of these factors support the growing movement for new safer building designs using cellular floor systems. The IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) should not be tainted by miles of toxic HAZMAT in the air plenums.
As the code is enforced across the country new construction projects for upgrades or retrofits may face thousands of unbudgeted dollars in cost to remove and dispose of the abandoned cables.
We have years of experience in removal of abandoned cables. We also have resources for disposal to meet LEEDS requirements for projects.