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FP200 Gold and fire resistant cables from Prysmian Cables UK

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FP200 Gold and fire resistant cables from Prysmian Cables UK

Welcome

FP200 Gold and fire resistant cables from Prysmian Cables UK

Fire Performance Cables - How Standards are changing
Posted: 22/08/10 16:12:51

Fire Performance Cables - How Standards are changing

In the UK fire performance cable market, we are well served by respected Standards, including test methods, product standards and system codes of practice.  It is essential that these standards are kept up to date so that they continue to reflect best practice and meet the current market needs. 
 
Although there have been few new or amended British (BS), European (EN) or International (IEC) standards in the area issued in the last year, this does not mean that activity has been limited.  In reality, the last year has been one of the busiest ever in the development of fire related standards in the cable sector and a number of important new standards and revisions are in the course of development ready to hit the bookstalls later in 2009 or soon afterwards. 

Work in progress – resistance to fire 

Test method standards 

BS8434-1:2003  “Methods of test for assessment of the fire integrity of electric cables – Test for unprotected small cables for use in emergency circuits – BS EN 50200 with addition of water spray”.
 
This standard was due for withdrawal in March 2009.  The method is now given in Annex E of BS EN 50200:2006.  BS8434-1 was referenced in BS5839-1:2002 “fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings  –  Part  1:  Code  of  practice  for  system design, installation, commissioning and  maintenance”, but the reference was updated to BS EN 50200 in Amendment A2:2008, so BS8434-1 is no longer needed. 
 
BS8434-2 “Methods of test for assessment of the fire integrity of electric cables – Test for unprotected small cables for use in emergency circuits – BS EN 50200 with a 930°C flame and with water spray”.  
This test method is still required to support the BS5839 series.  An updating amendment has been prepared, principally to reflect the withdrawal of BS8434-1, and is expected to be published in due course.  No significant technical changes are proposed. 
 
IEC60331 series “Tests for electric cables under fire conditions – Circuit integrity” This series has recently completed its final vote and should be published later this year.  Previous editions have never been adopted for publication as a BS and it is unlikely that these new editions will be.   
The new Part 1 “Test method for fire with shock at a temperature of at least 830°C for cables of rated voltage up to and including 0,6/1,0 kV and with an overall diameter exceeding 20 mm” is technically equivalent to BS EN 50362 and the new Part 2 “Test method for fire with shock at a temperature of at least 830°C for cables of rated voltage up to and including 0,6/1,0 kV and with an overall diameter not exceeding 20 mm” is technically equivalent  to  BS  EN  50200.    The  new  Part  3  “Test method for fire with shock at a temperature of at least  830°C for cables of rated voltage up to and including 0,6/1,0 kV tested in a metal enclosure” will however be of interest in the UK for the assessment of fire resistant single core cables for installation in conduit, such as FP100, which are currently certified using an ad-hoc variant of BS6387. 
 
Fire Performance Cables - How Standards are changing         

Product standards 

BS7629-1:2008 “Electric cables – Specification for 300/500 V fire resistant screened cables having low emission of smoke and corrosive gases when affected by fire – Part 1: Multicore and multipair cables” 
 
This new, revised edition of the standard detailing requirements for cables such as FP200Gold which are primarily used in fire alarm and emergency lighting applications was published in November 2008 and contains some important updating.   
 
The major changes are the introduction of new minimum requirements for resistance to fire to ensure consistency with the requirements of the current BS5839 series and BS5266-1:2005 “Emergency lighting – 
 
Part 1: Code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises”.  The old BS7629-2 covering multipair types has been withdrawn due to lack of market relevance and only those few multipair constructions which still have a limited market relevance have been included in the new BS7629-1. 
 
BS7846 “Electric cables – Thermosetting insulated, armoured, fire resistant cables of rated voltage 600/1000 V, having low emission of smoke and corrosive gases when affected by fire” 
 
A major revision of this standard for fire resistant armoured cables such as FP400 has been carried out and a draft for public comment (DPC) recently issued.  The main changes proposed, compared with the existing 2000 edition, are the introduction of designs and test requirements to reflect the latest needs for cables for life safety, fire fighting, property protection and business continuity applications served by products such as FP600 and FP600S.  Reference is made to BS8491”Method for assessment of fire integrity of large diameter power cables for use as components for smoke and heat control systems and certain other active fire safety systems”  
                                                                                                                            
published in 2008 to establish the test requirements for the new F30, F60 and F120 
categories. 
 
For less onerous applications, the existing F2 category (based upon a modified 
BS6387 CWZ protocol) of resistance to fire is retained as a minimum requirement. 

Application codes of practice 

BS8519 “Code of practice for the selection and installation of fire –resistant cables and systems for life safety and fire-fighting applications” is the provisional title given to the new code currently being developed under the BS8519 number.  When published, this will be a most important new standard and will bring together guidance on the electrical distribution systems for life safety and fire-fighting systems applications which are required to maintain circuit integrity under defined fire conditions for a specified fire survival time.  It will exclude those installations already covered by the BS5839 series. 
 
A number of factors to be considered when selecting and specifying the system performance requirements will be considered, including source of supply, location of intake enclosures, dual redundant supplies, diverse cable routes, cable test requirements and requirements for other elements of the cable system.  Three levels of cable survival time (30, 60 and 120 minutes) are envisaged with assessment by tests including BS8491.  The proposed  requirements will therefore be totally compatible with those proposed in the revision of BS7846. 
 
It will be proposed that BS8519 will supersede BS7346-6:2005 which will then be withdrawn.  It will however be a much more comprehensive and useful code of practice.  Assuming support at the forthcoming DPC stage, it is envisaged that BS8519 will be published during 2009. 

Use of standards 

Specifying cable from a reputable manufacturer, manufactured to the relevant standard and backed by approval from an accredited independent certification body is an important step in ensuring the success of any installation.  Following the guidelines given in any relevant code of practice for system design and installation is also important.  In the area of fire performance, where incorrect performance or functioning could have life safety implications, use of the correct quality products installed in the correct manner is essential. 


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