Schaedler Yesco

Risk of Using Counterfeit Cable


Counterfeit Cable?  

From watches to handbags to electronics and mechanical parts, a lot of products are victim to counterfeiting and cable isn't immune!

There are many reasons counterfeiting is an issue:

  •  Making Code and Standard compliant product is expensive
  •  There are unscrupulous manufacturers out there and it's "easy" to fake compliance
  •  People want a “bargain”
  •  Not everyone knows the signs of non-compliant product 

So how can you tell if your cable is counterfeit?

  • Packaging and/or cable shows UL symbol on package or cable but the package does not have the UL holographic label 
  • Every box of UL Listed cable requires a holographic label - If there's no label, the cable may be non-compliant to NEC
  • The packaging is deceptively advertised and marketed as fully compliant -- for example “Plenum rated” / “Plenum cable” / “Plenum approved”
  • UL Public Notices are issued to warn users  - Visit the UL website and the Intertek website for more info (see links in right hand tool bar)
  •  Poor quality and packaging

 Additional warning signs include:

  • Unfamiliar brands from unknown manufacturers
  • Only available from online vendors
  • Poor English on company website
  • No information or hidden information on factory location or country of origin

What are the risks of having non-compliant cable?

  •     Safety!
    •     Most importantly, using non-compliant cable is a safety risk
  •     Liability for Installation of Non-Compliant Cable
    •     Installers have a legal responsibility (a duty of care) to ensure the products they install are compliant to local building codes
    •      “..a duty of care is a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.”
    •      Liability exists whether or not the installer actually knows (or verifies) the product is non-compliant
  •     Consequences for the installation of non-compliant cable 
    •     Vary by state but can include fines and/or imprisonment for building code violation
    •     Some states impose fines for each day the code violation exists
    •     Certificate of Occupancy may not be issued to building owner/tenant
    •     Possible Civil Liability 

How can you avoid buying non-compliant cable?

  • Always purchase your cable from a distributor like Schaedler Yesco that guarantees their product is authentic and fully compliant with all applicable codes.

CCCA conducted fire tests at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), comparing counterfeit communications cable to compliant cable

This video by the Communications Cable & Connectivity Association briefly introduces the problem of counterfeit cable and shows an actual fire test and the spectacular results. View the other videos in the CCCA Communications Cable & Connectivity Association channel for more specifics on the counterfeit cabling problem. There are cable manufacturers that are manufacturing communications cable that does not pass fire and life safety building codes. However, they are labeling this cable with all the markings you might expect to find on a properly constructed cable.

CCCA conducted this fire test as part of our mission to inform you about this counterfeit cable in the market, which is usually purchased at “bargain” prices online. Contractors need to be aware that they have liability if installed cable is counterfeit, even when the manufacturer’s spec falsely represents it as compliant. 

Contact a Schaedler Yesco Data Specialist for more info on how to choose proper cabling for your project.

Click above or here to watch the video

Visit the CCCA

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