Using the Right Cables
Fire safety in buildings regularly receives attention in the press, and we are all encouraged to have smoke alarms in key places in homes and businesses. This is because in the event of a fire it's normally the smoke that kills rather than the flames.
In large buildings there are miles of electric cable which could cause smoke and fumes unless they are fire resistant or low smoke cables.
To protect against dangerous fumes and smoke, companies produce low smoke cables to prevent rooms and buildings becoming fume filled. But they also make fire resistent cables which are designed to protect fire alarm and safety systems in large buildings by resisting the effects of heat and flame. By producing cables resistant to fire the electrical systems within a building continue to function when normal cables would have been destroyed by heat or flames.
Fire Resistant Cable
The current market leading fire resistant cable is FP200 Gold, a hard skin cable and the first cable to use Insudite for damage resistant cores. It's designed to be used for fire alarm systems, fire detection and emergency lighting circuits.
A heavy-duty fire resistant cable is FP600S, a stranded armour cable that provides protection for emergency electrical services in large, complex or fire engineered buildings where high performance is very important.
Low Smoke Cables
Regulators and emergency services demand that buildings will perform in the event of fire, and using low smoke cables within the building is one way of doing this.
What are Low Smoke Cables?
Low smoke cables have an LSOH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) sheath which, in the event of a fire, will only emit very low levels of smoke and non-toxic levels of poisonous halogen gases. The majority of fatalaties in confined areas occur through gas and smoke inhalation rather than directly from the fire itself. This is why low smoke zero halogen cable is recommended for use in highly populated enclosed public areas.
How to Choose the Right Cable
Selecting the right fire performance cable for a given application can be confusing. Buyers are faced with many decisions to ensure that they choose the correct system for their project that meets all the relevant standards.
To help in this selection companies like FP Cables provide technical datasheets for their cable range as well as an overview of typical applications for each cable. There is also usually a Technical Team which can normally be contacted via a dedicated phone line, during normal office hours.
All fire resistant products should also have relevant test certificates, which can usually can be downloaded from company websites.
FP Cables is owned by Prysmian, a company with over 130 years experience in the manufacture of electrical cables and over 30 years of experience in the manufacture of fire resistant cables.
Formerly known as Pirelli Cables, Prysmian is a truly global company with an expansive history and continues to be the first name in electrical cables since Pirelli transferred ownership of the cables and installations business via Goldman Sachs in 2005. The new company became Prysmian Cables & Systems Limited and since 2007 has been listed on the Milan stock exchange.