A ‘hot topic’ in the cabling world is the new fire ratings for fixed installation cables.
From 1st July 2013, under the Construction Products Regulation 2011 (CPR), it became mandatory for manufacturers to apply CE marking to any products which are covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) or European Technical Assessment (ETA). This change brought to the forefront lots of questions, one frequently asked was ‘What class(es) of reaction to fire performance must be used?’.
Some of you may already be familiar with the terms ‘CPR’, ‘BS 6701’ and ‘Euroclass’, and been subjected to the varying opinions as to how these terms affect what class(es) should now be selected. We hope this article will ‘shed some light’ on how these terms affect what we do and what the legalities are.
We should all be aware that any cable installed must conform to the new BS 6701:2016+ A1:2017 CPR Euroclass rating system from Fca to Aca (Aca is the most fire retardant option), along with smoke, acid and droplet ratings and must be CE marked with an available ‘Declaration of Performance’ in place. Following so far..?!
The British Standards Institute (BSI) stated that the recommended minimum Euroclass cable that can be installed is Cca:S1b:d2:a2. The issue with the statement and the reason for all the confusion is with the wording as they imply that Cca is the minimum but the key word here is ‘RECOMMENDED’!
The British Cables Association (BCA) released a press statement recently to clarify the ‘confusion’, here are the important bits;
“The regulation does not define which class of reaction to fire performance is applicable to a particular installation. That is entirely the prerogative of the Member State. In UK that responsibility is vested in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). To date MHCLG has consistently said that it will not make any prescriptive legal requirement on reaction to fire for cables via amendments to The Building Regulations 2010.”
“there is no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an Approved Document.”
… and finally…
“It must again be emphasised that both BS 7671 and BS 6701 are not legal requirements according to MHCLG and this has been confirmed.”
In summary, there is currently NO UK legal requirement for any specific class as long as the decision reflects the demands of other applicable regulations.
Kevin Baylis, TwistedPair’s LV Technical Consultant said;
“The statement from the BCA finally clears up the contradictory information being released by various people in the industry regarding the legalities of what cable we can and can’t install.”
The full statement from the BCA can be found here – ‘Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and cables – March 2018 – UK position’.
For further information on CPR or if your business is looking for a data cabling installation please contact Kevin Baylis:
023 9231 5441
21a London Road