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Prysmian Fire Testing Facilities

For many years based onsite at our Special Cables Factory near Eastleigh, Prysmian’s staff of specialist engineers at the Fire Test Lab conduct over fifteen hundred fire tests every year. The lab proves our existing products meet or exceed current fire tests and is an essential tool to develop the new cables and accessories needed to satisfy the increasing demands of clients, regulators, designers and installers.


1.Equipment – Our equipment and skills have been developed to research safer cables using the specialist equipment, especially.


A.Flame propagation Chamber – measures flame spread along cables
i.High volumes of power cables are installed typically in the risers in public buildings – this test ensures the cables do not cause a fire to spread.


B.Smoke Cube – Measures the amount of smoke from a burning cable
i.Emergency exit signs are installed in public buildings - this test ensures that no harmful smoke is produced that could obscure the signs or choke the people evacuating.


C.Circuit integrity chambers - measure how long a cable continues to operate in a fire.
i.Fire alarms and Emergency lighting systems all need to operate for at least 30mins; long enough to evacuate everyone from the building. Life safety and fire fighting systems need to operate even longer eg hospitals where patients on life support cannot be moved.


D.CPR test – measures the amount of heat produced when cables are burnt.
I. These new regulations become law within twelve months and they will ensure cables do not add to the fire and make it worse.


2. Ownership - Over the last forty years and we have invested time, money and effort in our own laboratory to understand how cables perform under fire. Many suppliers have no such facilities and may rely upon non specialist test houses.


3. Bespoke testing – sometimes major projects have bespoke or non-standard fire testing requirements for cables and we carry out the tests for them and arrange independent witnesses to observe and audit the process.


Toxic fumes in a fire, creating difficulty in evacuating the building. Faulty cables can come from anywhere; in recent years sub-standard products have been discovered in Australia, the US, South Korea, the UK, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Europe.


Issues with cable contribute hugely to the health and safety of individuals who live or work in the buildings in which they are installed. In 2012/13, electrical systems accounted for 4,200 fires, 450 injuries and 8 deaths. Prysmian’s hope is that the circumstances which brought about these unfortunate events will be prevented by the continued work of the ACI. Additionally, added vigilance by individuals and companies within the electrical industry will save huge amounts of time and money, as cable that is discovered as faulty has to be removed, with reputation damage and inconvenience to everyone involved.


Prysmian is proud to offer fire resistant solutions for life safety and fire fighting systems which exceed the standard and enhanced requirements expected in the UK and the rest of Europe. In this way, when Prysmian is specified and installed, all involved can be assured that they are using the highest quality, and will be providing the best protection to life and property in the event of fire.
 

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