Avoid these hazardous, illegal cabling practices

You don’t have to be a technology expert to know that wires shouldn’t hang haphazardly in your office ceiling or sit in looping piles on the telecommunications room floor. Shoddy workmanship and shortcuts stand out because they simply look wrong, even to an untrained eye.

But how do you know when sloppy work crosses the line and becomes a liability to your business?

Watch out for these hazardous cabling practices:


  • Ignoring the abandoned cable left behind by the previous owner or tenant (National Electric Code [NEC] requires that it be labeled, reused, or removed).

  • Hanging cable from ceiling-tile supports or leaving it on top of ceiling tiles (NEC).

  • Working without a permit in areas that require one for low-voltage work like cabling (determined by local authorities).

  • Using nonplenum cable, which isn’t fire retardant, in an open-air-return HVAC system where it can burn rapidly (NEC and NFPA).


  • Claiming that cabling passed a high-performance test, but using cheap testing equipment that can’t give the “pass/fail” report required for the manufacturer’s warranty.

Fire hazard

  • Installing cable through a fire break and not resealing the hole with an approved fire-stopping material (National Fire Protection Association [NFPA] and local authorities).


  • Installing indoor-rated cabling in certain types of floors that require outdoor-rated cable to prevent shortages (regulated by local authorities).

Avoid risk with The Cabling Guide

This e-report identifies the 7 questions you should ask a technology contractor to make sure you get a quality structured cabling system. From advice about low-price bids to a checklist for site-visit evaluations, The Cabling Guide will help you reduce risk and invest in a reliable, long-lasting system.