Two of the most common characteristics seen when describing Ethernet cable is ‘Plenum’ and ‘Riser’. It’s important to distinguish the difference between the two because plenum cable can always replace riser cable, but riser cable cannot replace plenum cable in plenum spaces. Not knowing that simple fact can be the difference between life and death in case of a fire.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

• PLENUM (OFNP) – refers to a specific fire code rating of cables that are resistant to fire and do not emit toxic fumes or smoke when burned. Plenum-rated cables are primarily used in pathways for either heated, cooled or return airflows.
• RISER (OFNR) – is constructed of PVC and may emit toxic fµmes when burned and is to be run in non-plenum areas.