The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has revised the National Electrical Code to address this issue. Unused cables that are not identified for future use must be removed. Because many building facilities have several generations of cables snaking through floors and ceilings, the task of distinguishing between functioning and abandoned cable can be monumentally difficult.
Voice, data, audio, coaxial, and fiber-optic cabling are all subject to the change in electrical and fire-safety codes, and local authorities have stepped up their enforcement efforts. Insurers are becoming equally vigilant in their fire coverage.
In localities where the revised NEC code has already been adopted, violations can result in government sanctions. More important, such code violations can affect a building owner’s loan covenants, access to insurance, obligations to tenants, and liabilities to victims in the event of fire.