Fire Cables

SAFETY CAN’T WAIT

Safety and in particular Fire Safety[1] is a major concern all over Europe. For this reason the European Commission created the “CPR” Regulation (regulation for the classification of construction products, Construction Product Regulation) in order to increase infrastructures security by harmonizing the classification of construction products for all EU members and within the EU borders.
 
How does the regulation relate to the cables?

The cable could not but have an important role in the regulation, since it is an integral part of all permanent and fixed installations, has a continuous path in unseen places as it passes through the walls, and introduces the possibility of a short circuit.
 
  
What is CPR (Construction Products Regulation);
 
The Construction Products Regulation (n. 305/2011 issued on 9 March 2011) was published on the European Commission Official Journal on 4th April 2011.
Its purpose is to simplify and clarify the existing framework, and improve the transparency and the effectiveness of the existing measures aiming at the removal of technical barriers between EU Member States in the construction field for products used in buildings and civil works.
The CPR replaces the Directive 89/106/EEC better known as CPD.  
The CPR will be effective on 1st July 2013 and the involvement of cables in accordance to the CPR will most likely be during 2014.
 
What is the Euroclass Table? How will this table be implemented?
 
The Euroclass Table defines the classification according to fire resistance, smoke emission and release of toxic gasses, in which all construction products will apply. It was officially published as Decision n°2006/751/CE published in the EC Official Journal on 27th October 2006[2]. There are seven classes: A, B1, B2, C, D, E and F in order to cover all construction products. For cables only B2, C, D, E and F classes are applied according to the installation’s requirements.
Summarizing, the requirements for each class are the following:
      Euroclasses B2, C, D: The parameters monitored are the flame propagation speed, the emission of smoke, combustion particles, acidity gas combustion heat release, the growth of the fire. The requirements for these parameters are increased progressively from Class D (for facilities of moderate risk), Class C (for facilities of high risk) and Class B2 (facilities of very high risk).
      Euroclass E: Requirements for flame propagation for facilities of low risk. 
      Euroclass F: No special requirements for facilities of low risk.
 
The mandatory application of these Decisions in EU Member States requires the following:
      that the necessary standards are issued under Mandate of the Commission and published in the European Official Journal,
      that the relevant National Authorities transpose the classifications in their National Regulations,
      that the National Regulations indicate which Euroclass category is applicable in which application,
      that the National Authorities notify the Commission the Approval Bodies (third party) approved for the Certification of the particular product.
This process will take time as it will require consultation at various levels and preparation and publication of a number of supporting standards. Until this happens, there can be no regulatory requirement to use product certified in accordance with the Euroclass table.
Especially for cables, there cannot be any kind of products categorization, unless a relevant standard (EN50575) is created by CENELEC on mandate of the Commission.
 
Which cables are actually covered by the CPR?
 
All cables that are permanently incorporated -fixed installation- into a building (e.g. residence, commercial, or industrial building) and into other civil works are covered by the CPR. This includes power cables of any rated voltage, as well as communication cables with metal and glass (optical fibre) conductors. For cables installed in works where National Regulations prescribe a specific Classification, conformity to Standards must be certified.
 
 
How can a CE marked cable be recognized?
 
A.   The CE mark together with the ID of the Notified Body and the ID of the Certificate will be printed on the product label. In case of Low Voltage cables the CE mark will attest compliance with both CPR and LVD.
B.    On accompanying documents – besides what is written on the product label – will be also printed the full Euroclass, the name or identifying mark of the manufacturer, the last two digits of the year in which the marking is affixed, reference to EN50575: 2012 and the description of the cable.
 
Who is legally responsible of the conformity of cables?
Who will activate the mechanism of control of the conformity of cables installed?
 
The CPR clearly states that the manufacturer, the importer and the distributor of the product have exactly the same obligations regarding the correct application of the regulation.
 
Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 published on the European Commission Official Journal on 9th July 2008 describes the obligation of Member States to guarantee effective surveillance of their market. Therefore, it is expected by the Greek State to adopt the regulation and issue relevant legislation, in order to set in action the implementation of the regulation by the domestic manufacturers and the inspection of imported products.  


[1] Any construction work must be designed and constructed so that in case of fire:
A.    the static strength of the structure is maintained for a specific period of time,
B.    the generation and spread of fire and smoke within the construction are limited,
C.    the spread of fire to neighboring construction buildings is limited,
D.    the occupants can leave the building or be rescued by other means,
E.    the safety of rescue teams is being taken into account.
[2] The classification of fire resistance was officially published as Decision No. 2000/367/EC
 
 

 

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