AEI Cables sends message on Category 3 Control cables

AEI Cables has made an appeal to individual decision-makers in the electrical supply chain, including building managers, to ‘Make yourselves more aware of the dangers of not using approved cabling for Category 3 Control fire performance cables.’

The company has been communicating the dangers of not following the technical guidance for the selection and installation of cables for Category 3 Control fire performance cables under the revised British Standard.

Now, it has sent out a message to those individuals through the supply chain who make decisions or handle these cables for critical applications as specified under the revised version of BS8519: 2020.

Stuart Dover, General Manager of AEI Cables, says, “We have had a great response to our campaign, but we want to get the information into the hands of the individuals who make decisions about cable selection.

“If these systems fail because the cable is not able to function properly, then the consequences are apparent. Lives and properties are at stake here. Category 3 Control fire performance cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a real fire.”

The systems powered by these cables – including smoke and heat extraction systems – assist fire services in fire-fighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety. Category 3 Control fire performance cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a real fire.

To date, the awareness campaign has received support from MP Sharon Hodgson and industry bodies including Electrical Safety First and fire safety membership body, The Institution of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO).

The applications of Category 3 Control fire performance cables applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings – including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, shopping centres and stadia.

The new code is intended to inform and guide designers, contractors, fire engineers, regulators and enforcers, including building control bodies, fire authorities, health and safety inspectors and equipment suppliers and manufacturers.

The code gives guidance and recommendations on the selection and installation of fire-resistant power and control cable systems that need to maintain their circuit integrity for life safety and fire-fighting on international projects.

It is primarily intended for use in buildings which, due to their size, height, form or use, require the installation of life safety and fire-fighting systems, e.g. sprinkler pumps, wet riser pumps, smoke control systems, fire-fighting and evacuation lifts or other systems as required by a fire engineering strategy.

BS 8519:2020 makes reference to the recommendations of BS 9999 and BS 9991, with regard to the design and installation of the electrical distribution systems for life safety and fire-fighting equipment. It also makes reference to three categories of circuits required to maintain their circuit integrity under defined fire conditions for varying fire survival times of 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 120 minutes.

Appropriate cable tests are identified for each cable category derived from applicable British Standards, assessing cable performance under conditions of fire as might be expected in an actual fire incident.

BS 8519:2020 also aims to ensure that the level of circuit fire integrity is not compromised by other components of the whole electrical distribution system, including cable glands, terminations, joints and cable support systems.

By incorporating this guidance into the selection of cabling for these critical systems, those using these striking new buildings can move about safe in the knowledge that they are safe.

The wider fire safety industry and professionals have also welcomed the message including the professional fire safety membership body the Institution of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO).

AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control. The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes.

Using the very latest in technology and science, the Firetec Total Fire Solutions range offers Mineral Insulated Cabling (MIC), Firetec Enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from the AEI Cables distribution facility at Washington, Tyne and Wear.

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