In July 2017 the Construction Product Directive (CPR) was expanded to include performance specifications relating to how cables react to fire. The aim of this new legislation is to harmonise these specifications across all EU member states through a classification structure, known as ‘Euroclasses’.
The directive covers all cables that are deemed to be permanently installed in a building, and include horizontal and riser copper, fibre, communication and power cables.
The classification structure includes 7 Euroclasses, from A to F, where A class cables have the highest retardance to fire, and F the lowest, the remaining specification considerations that from part of a the Euroclass categorisation are heat release, smoke production, light transmittance, flaming droplets, and acid production.
It is the responsibility of each EU member state to define the recommended minimum Euroclass for installations within its market.
The UK market is unregulated and therefore there no government or independent body defined this minimum class when the regulation become a legal requirement on 1st July. Since this time the market has chosen to install CPR compliant product – to meet the legal requirement – but to use products close to the previously specified LSOH cable designs.
However, on 30th November 2017 British Standards issued BS6701:2016+A1:2017, an amendment to the frequently used standard entitled ‘Telecommunications Equipment and Telecommunications Cabling – Specification for installation, operation and maintenance.’
Within this amendment is the requirement to use a specific Euroclass to comply with this British Standard namely Cca S1b d2 a2. This specification creates a higher level of performance across each of the criteria named above when compared to previous LSOH cables.
Due to the timing of the publication of the amendment to BS6701 it is natural that some time will be required for this to be reflected within tender specifications.
Here at A-Tech we encouraging our customers to learn about these changes in cable fire performance. Not only as it could help save lives, but as there is a strong belief this could become a requirement in future building regulations.
All our tender responses where the documentation supplied doesn’t explicitly refer to the Euroclass type, and/or refers to an older version of BS6701. Our response will be based on the older version of BS6701, priced using Dca cable, we will also provide a quote compliant with the latest version and priced using Cca rated (or higher) cable.