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Euroclass cables and data or fibre optic cabling in which these standards are affected?

Euroclass cable

The requirement to install a Euroclass cable is to be compliant with BS 6701:2016+A1:2017

Therefore if you are not installing to this standard then the non-compliance is advised to be notified to the building owner. In such cases a fire safety report can be undertaken under BS9999 to look at ways to mitigate the risks

Communication cable

Assembly of suitably insulated coaxial conductors or twisted pairs of insulated conductors fabricated to meet transmission, mechanical and environmental requirements. Furthermore sufficient to allow conveyance of information between two points with the minimum of radiation

Optical fibre cable

Assembly comprising one or more optical fibres or fibre bundles. Thus contained inside a common covering designed to protect them against mechanical stresses and other environmental influences. In addition retaining the transmission quality of the fibres

What is BS 6701:2016+A1:2017?

This is the British Standard associated with cabling and telecommunications equipment. It creates specifically a link from UK  electrical installation standards and how they apply to the cabling equivalents

To begin with it references telecommunication cables and their reaction to fire performance in regards to CPR (Construction Products Regulation)

“For new installations and the refurbishment or extension of existing installations within the external fire barrier of the building, installation cables which are subject to the CPR shall as a minimum meet the requirements of Euroclass Cca, s1b, d2, a2.”

To illustrate this the Product sheet from the Excel Cabling Brand Manufacturer Highlights these changes and standard – CPR and BS6701:2016+A1:2017 At a glance...

What is CPR?

Specifically the ‘Construction Projects Regulation’ aims to break down technical barriers and provide a common technical language. Thus to assess the performance of construction products and to harmonise the rules for marketing these products.

Four Key Concepts of CPR:

  • A system of harmonised technical specifications
  • A framework of notified bodies
  • A system of conformity assessment for each product family
  • CE marking of products

Why is LS0H no longer enough?Euroclass Compliant data cabling

Low-smoke, zero-halogen (LS0H) cables were designed to meet three IEC standards:

  1. IEC60332: Flame Spread
  2. IEC60754: Smoke Acidity
  3. IEC61034: Smoke Emission

The CPR applies additional criteria and testing procedures to promote a more harmonised standard to describe a cable’s reaction to ­fire.

Are all cable types required to comply?

  • The CPR applies to all permanently installed cables within a building; communication, power and control cables in fixed installations.
  • There is no distinction between copper and fibre, or shielded and unshielded cables.
  • The only exception is patch leads, which are not within scope of CPR.

So, which CPR Euroclass Cable should you choose?

Different Member States require different CPR classification levels for various applications. Furthermore member State may implement the standard in line with their regional requirements.

For instance, hospitals require a B2ca rating in some countries, but only a Cca rating in others.

In this case to achieve standards compliance in the UK, it is important to choose a cable with a CPR Euroclass of a minimum of Cca, s1b, d2, a2 – as stipulated in BS6701:2016+A1:2017.

Likewise this applies to any new installations or the refurbishment and/or extension of existing installations within the external fire barrier of the building.

Therefore it is always advisable to always check with a country’s local regulations.

Where can I locate the requirements of the standard compliant Euroclass cable?

  • Product Data Sheets
  • Product Packing Labels
  • Cable Sheath Printing

Price Differences of Euroclass cable

Cca and B2Ca euroclass cable due their their superior fire rating are naturally a more expensive material acquisition than the standard LSOH cable or PVC versions. In some cases this may be 30-40% in cable material costs.

If comparable quotes show one to be significantly lower in price its advisable to check that the correct cable specification has been quoted

More articles concerning the structured cabling industry and associated services can be found at our website https://www.nmcabling.co.uk/knowledge-centre/