Anyone who has remodeled a home or has experience in construction knows that when it comes to a home, there are many rules we have to abide by when doing modifications. This comes into play when we want to install a nice home entertainment system in our home. Any wiring or cables going into our wall have to meet NEC specifications.

One of the most common cables being run through walls lately has been HDMI cables. Most people don’t know that we can’t simply go to the A/V store and buy any HDMI cable to put in our walls. The NEC requires that signal cables like HDMI cables need to have at least a CL2 rating for installation within homes in the United States. For industrial applications cables meeting a CL3 requirement must be used.

The main benefit of using cables like these is that they will not produce toxic fumes if the home or building catches fire. They are also designed not to make a home fire situation any worse. Many off the shelf HDMI cables that aren’t CL2 or CL3 rated do not have this rating and when exposed to fire can emit dangerous fumes or cause a fire to grow more rapidly.

Because of these hazards its important to select a quality CL2 or CL3 rated HDMI cable for your home theater installations. Running HDMI cables through walls can be a time consuming and expensive task, make sure you select a high quality cable so the job only needs to be done once! Also check with your home owners’ association and local building inspector to see if they require you to get permits for home theater installations.