FP Talk - Unraveling BS 8519

BS 8519 - A new standard for fire safetyBS 8519 - A new standard for fire safety

Unravelling BS 8519

Unravelling BS 8519

A new standard for life safety and fire fighting systems

A new standard for life safety and fire fighting systems

BS 8519 - A new standard for fire safetyBS 8519 - A new standard for fire safety

Are you responsible for specifying, inspecting or regulating fire resistant cabling for large or complex buildings? If so then you should already be aware of BS 8519, introduced in February this year and effective since then. However, it appears there is some confusion in the industry when it comes to interpreting exactly what the standard means. Terry Journeaux explains all.

BS 8519 was introduced specifically to apply only to large and complex buildings and has been widely welcomed within the industry. The new standard offers guidance for the selection of fire resistant power and control cables in life safety and fire fighting systems such as smoke barriers, sprinkler systems, fire fighting and evacuation lift supplies. Consequently, BS 8519 should increase protection of emergency and fire personnel as well as evacuees who may be inside a large or complex building when fire breaks out. Focussing on large and complex buildings recognises that life safety solutions developed for such buildings require a high level of performance from all components including the electrical supplies.

Building regulations Approved Document B refers to BS 7346-6 which is now withdrawn and replaced with BS 8519 for large or complex buildings. It does not cover the wiring of fire detection and fire alarm systems which are still covered by BS 5839. For the first time fire survival times are introduced. This means that in intense situations where fire fighters and other emergency service workers need to enter or occupy a building after evacuation say 30, 60 or even 120 minutes after the fire or emergency began, under BS 8519 they can now be certain that the cables operating the life safety and fire fighting power and control systems will pass the test.

Cable Selection

Three fire survival times are recognised under the new standard. Life safety systems must remain operational for 60 minutes in large and complex buildings and 30 minutes in other types of building Fire fighting systems should be fully functioning 60 or 120 minutes depending on the application being used. One range of suitable cables is offered by Prysmian. FP200 Gold, FP Plus, FP400 and FP 600S cables meet the fire survival times required under the new standard and are BASEC and LPCB approved.

Installation

BS 8519 also impacts upon other components in the cable systems such as fixings, containment systems, glands and joints so that they do not compromise the circuit integrity in the event of fire. The code proposes that joints should be avoided unless absolutely essential and that cable fixings and fixing centres should always be fitted according to the cable manufacturer’s recommendations.

Robust armoured cables should be fixed either directly to the building structure or to a cable management system. If additional mechanical protection is needed for cables, a cable management or containment system is advisable. This must be able to maintain its full function in adverse conditions such as fire, direct mechanical impact and under pressure from water jets and for the same period of time as that set out for cables. Specific tests for cable management systems under BS 8519 are still in the process of development so manufacturers should be consulted before installation.

High Voltage

For security of supply, BS 8519 also recommends that HV supply cables serving life safety and fire fighting systems should directly enter fire-rated
switch rooms and not pass through buildings.

In situations where cables have to be routed through buildings they need to be fire protected. As suitable HV cables with intrinsic resistance to fire are not currently available, normal cables need to be used with the right protection. There are several ways of doing this. Installing the cable in a concrete trench with a concrete cover, routing it within a dedicated shaft or void with the appropriate fire rating, or enclosing it with passive fire
protection material giving 120 minute fire resistance together with the capability of withstanding the effects of the direct impact and water jet specified. Certain high performance systems based on composite panels of fibre-reinforced cement, bonded to steel sheets are also suitable.

This article is intended only as a basic explanation to BS 8519. There is a free printed guide available, supplied by Prysmian. To get your copy call 023 8029 5029 or email cables.marketing.uk@prysmian.com.

Terry Journeaux is Technical Marketing manager of Prysmian Cables and Systems Limited – formerly Pirelli Cables. Since graduating from the University of Sussex, he has obtained 35 years experience working in the cable industry in technical, commercial and marketing roles. Much of his career has been closely involved in the development of fire performance cables and the standards that govern them.

Are you responsible for specifying, inspecting or regulating fire resistant cabling for large or complex buildings? If so then you should already be aware of BS 8519, introduced in February this year and effective since then. However, it appears there is some confusion in the industry when it comes to interpreting exactly what the standard means. Terry Journeaux explains all.

BS 8519 was introduced specifically to apply only to large and complex buildings and has been widely welcomed within the industry. The new standard offers guidance for the selection of fire resistant power and control cables in life safety and fire fighting systems such as smoke barriers, sprinkler systems, fire fighting and evacuation lift supplies. Consequently, BS 8519 should increase protection of emergency and fire personnel as well as evacuees who may be inside a large or complex building when fire breaks out. Focussing on large and complex buildings recognises that life safety solutions developed for such buildings require a high level of performance from all components including the electrical supplies.

Building regulations Approved Document B refers to BS 7346-6 which is now withdrawn and replaced with BS 8519 for large or complex buildings. It does not cover the wiring of fire detection and fire alarm systems which are still covered by BS 5839. For the first time fire survival times are introduced. This means that in intense situations where fire fighters and other emergency service workers need to enter or occupy a building after evacuation say 30, 60 or even 120 minutes after the fire or emergency began, under BS 8519 they can now be certain that the cables operating the life safety and fire fighting power and control systems will pass the test.

Cable Selection

Three fire survival times are recognised under the new standard. Life safety systems must remain operational for 60 minutes in large and complex buildings and 30 minutes in other types of building Fire fighting systems should be fully functioning 60 or 120 minutes depending on the application being used. One range of suitable cables is offered by Prysmian. FP200 Gold, FP Plus, FP400 and FP 600S cables meet the fire survival times required under the new standard and are BASEC and LPCB approved.

Installation

BS 8519 also impacts upon other components in the cable systems such as fixings, containment systems, glands and joints so that they do not compromise the circuit integrity in the event of fire. The code proposes that joints should be avoided unless absolutely essential and that cable fixings and fixing centres should always be fitted according to the cable manufacturer’s recommendations.

Robust armoured cables should be fixed either directly to the building structure or to a cable management system. If additional mechanical protection is needed for cables, a cable management or containment system is advisable. This must be able to maintain its full function in adverse conditions such as fire, direct mechanical impact and under pressure from water jets and for the same period of time as that set out for cables. Specific tests for cable management systems under BS 8519 are still in the process of development so manufacturers should be consulted before installation.

High Voltage

For security of supply, BS 8519 also recommends that HV supply cables serving life safety and fire fighting systems should directly enter fire-rated
switch rooms and not pass through buildings.

In situations where cables have to be routed through buildings they need to be fire protected. As suitable HV cables with intrinsic resistance to fire are not currently available, normal cables need to be used with the right protection. There are several ways of doing this. Installing the cable in a concrete trench with a concrete cover, routing it within a dedicated shaft or void with the appropriate fire rating, or enclosing it with passive fire
protection material giving 120 minute fire resistance together with the capability of withstanding the effects of the direct impact and water jet specified. Certain high performance systems based on composite panels of fibre-reinforced cement, bonded to steel sheets are also suitable.

This article is intended only as a basic explanation to BS 8519. There is a free printed guide available, supplied by Prysmian. To get your copy call 023 8029 5029 or email cables.marketing.uk@prysmian.com.

Terry Journeaux is Technical Marketing manager of Prysmian Cables and Systems Limited – formerly Pirelli Cables. Since graduating from the University of Sussex, he has obtained 35 years experience working in the cable industry in technical, commercial and marketing roles. Much of his career has been closely involved in the development of fire performance cables and the standards that govern them.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON: FP600S and FP Plus
Please contact marketing:
Tel: 023 8029 5029
Email: cables.marketing.uk@prysmian.com

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON: FP600S and FP Plus
Please contact marketing:
Tel: 023 8029 5029
Email: cables.marketing.uk@prysmian.com

 

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For further information please contact
the marketing department on
Tel:023 8029 5029, or email
cables.marketing.uk@prysmian.com
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