Frequently Asked Questions
Also see: FAQs in the News section
1. Where is my nearest FP Cable Stockist?
To find your nearest stockist see our Stockist Finder page where you can find your nearest stockist by post code, town or county.
2. In what ways are FP Cables better than the competition?
a) FP Cables use Insudite – it’s a tough composite insulation, resistant to impact, nicking and abrasion; all things that normally result in failure of silicone insulated cables.
b) Most FP Cables are dressable - the cable will retain the shape you give it during installation and stays where it’s put for first fix.
c) FP Cables strip easily - there are no fiddly metallic or fibreglass tapes to remove in a separate operation so termination is cleaner and quicker.
3. Do FP Cables pass tests on one sample?
a) Yes – for example FP200 Gold passes the fire alarm code of practice, BS 5839-1:2002 which requires standard fire resistant cable to pass EN 50200 Annex E. That’s fire,impact and water spray for 30 minutes at 850°C on the same sample ie an integrated test.
4. What is the meaning of the CWZ test?
BS6387:1994 contains a set of separate fire, water and shock tests and the highest grade is CWZ. In order to meet CWZ and comply with the standard cable must pass the following three separate tests:
C – Resistance to fire at 950ºC for 3 hours
W - Resistance to fire and water at 650ºC for 30 minutes and
Z - Resistance to fire and mechanical shock at 950°C for 15 minutes
5. Can FP cables be joined?
If jointing is unavoidable then a fire resistant box containing ceramic connectors should be used.
6. What clips are required?
The FP FIREFIX fixing system is the fastest way to install most FP cables - using Spit Pulsa® gas nailing technology. The clip is made from non rusting stainless steel with a LS0H powder coating.
FP FIREFIX kit includes all parts necessary to install 500 clips with the Spit Pulsa fixing tool available separately. The tool uses gas nailing technology to fix the clip securely onto a wide range of materials including concrete, steel, composite steel decking, masonry and block work.
Copper "P" clips or steel ties can also be used to install some cable types but plastic or aluminium clips should not be used as sole means of support. Aluminium and plastic clips can easily melt or burn during a fire and the cable may collapse. Please see reference numbers in the datasheet.
7. What Glands are required?
Prysmian nylon glands are recommended for general installations. The gland is not part of the fire resistant cable support but is recommended to reduce the ingress of airborne dust particles. Brass or steel glands may be also used.
8. What is the maximum operating temperature?
For FP200 Gold minimum operating temperature is – 20°C and the maximum is + 70ºC as laid down in the cable construction standard BS 7629 as required by BS 5839 and BS 5266.
9. Why do some manufacturers offer fire resistant cable rated at up to 125ºC?
There is no obvious advantage offering a fire alarm cable that claims to be rated above 70°C:
a) Temperature limitation of connectors and accessories is usually 70ºC.
See BS 7671:1992 IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition clause 512 - 02 - 1.
b) Effect of cable temperature on adjacent components since the surface temperature of the cable is only likely to be 10ºC less than the conductor. If laid next to a PVC cable then the surface temperature of the cable must not exceed 70ºC. [Ref: BS7671: 1992 /IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition section 422 "Protection Against Fire And Harmful Effects".]
c) Touch temperature should be less than 90ºC. [ Ref BS7671: 1992 /IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition section 423 "Protection Against Burns".]
d) Fire alarm cables are normally sized on volt drop considerations rather than current ratings.
10. What cable lengths are available?
Standard lengths are always in stock for 50, 100 & 500m in the common sizes. Other lengths need to be made to special order please contact us for prices, lead time and minimum quantity.
11. What colours are available?
Standard colours are Red and White but other colours are available, including colour matches to special order, contact us for prices, lead time and minimum quantity.
12. What clip spacing is required?
Recommended clip spacings are given in our brochure and are generally 300mm horizontal and 400mm vertical installation.
13. What is the life expectancy of FP cables?
All fixed wiring cables including FP have a minimum design life in excess of 20 years and we expect them to last well in excess of that under normal operating conditions. Cables are subject to the standard guarantee as given in the Prysmian Terms and Conditions of sale.
14. Are ferrules required for FP Cable?
No – Prysmian replaced silicone rubber with Insudite in 1995 and Insudite is a tough, resilient composite material developed by Prysmian – ferrules are not needed.
15. Are FP Cables suitable for outside installations?
For external installation with exposure to UV, we recommend white or black sheathed FP. Do not use red sheathed FP outside without additional protection.
Disclaimer: The information given in this document is believed to be correct at the time of loading but may be subject to change.