Improving fire safety within escape routes

All cable installations in escape routes need to be fixed with fire-resistant components

Milan   -   24/03/2015 - 01:00 AM

The 17th edition of Wiring Regulations sees amendments to BS 7671, the national standard in the United Kingdom for low voltage electrical installations. One of the changes includes ensuring all cable installations in escape routes are fixed with fire-resistant components to improve fire safety of the occupants and fire fighters.

Previously it was not required for cables to be secured with fire-resistant fixings except in the case of some emergency systems where the relevant “code of practice” stipulated circuit integrity in the event of fire.

BS 7671: 2008 - Amendment 3 - understands that it is not just the risk of failing fire safety systems that are hazardous but that falling cable itself presents a risk. Fallen and falling cables are particularly hazardous as they can block escape routes and potentially entangle those escaping or fighting the fire. In light of this robust components must now be used to fix all cable in escape routes to fire-resistant parts of the building fabric.

Simon Hopkins, FP Product Manager UK, adds “Prysmian Group are cable experts so when changes to regulations affect the design and application of products that’s when we draw upon our engineering and commercial skills to develop the best solutions. When fire safety is the issue, the motivation to succeed is paramount”.

Prysmian’s FP website has a series of guidance documents that include suitable fixing advice for fire performance cables. These same guides can be referenced for the new amendment requirements for fixing of non-fire resistant cables within escape routes. Guidance documents to these British standards are available for download from:

Furthermore, since the very latest fire-performance standards have now been published, with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) likely to become effective from Q2/Q3 2015, Prysmian Group is about to launch a CPR programme in Europe which will strengthen its positioning in the cables market. This project is of great strategic importance, being a unique momentum for change within the EU cable market.

Prysmian is developing solutions for a full CPR product portfolio in all its EU countries of operation. This technical challenge is being tackled by several experts and seven best-in-class pre-qualified testing facilities across Europe which are fully commissioned and equipped.