Specialist AEI Cables has sent out a message to the supply chain highlighting the need to use only approved cabling in critical signal and control equipment following the announcement of a revised version of the Code of Practice covering these areas of performance.
In an open letter to many customers, industry bodies and organisations, the supplier is underlining how the systems powered by these cables - including smoke and heat extraction systems - are so critical in assisting fire services in the case of firefighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety.
As the only supplier in the UK with independent approval from LPCB for BS8519 Category 3 Control fire performance cables with a fire survival time of up to 120 minutes, AEI Cables is warning of the dangers of using any other type of cable.
Graham Turner of AEI Cables, said: "We feel strongly about this issue as a matter of safety and compliance. Using inferior types of cable for these applications is dangerous and posing a major risk. We're getting a very positive response from customers who appreciate the information on an issue of such importance.
"Some of these systems will simply not survive in a fire if a sub-standard cable is installed. Category 3 Control fire performance cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a real fire.
"Indeed, these cables also help fire and rescue services fighting a fire and evacuating people so we shouldn't underestimate their importance."
The standard clearly references and clarifies the products and levels of performance that should be used for all parts of the supply chain from specifiers to contractors and installers. The applications of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, care homes, shopping malls and stadia.
AEI Cables' Firetec Enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control. The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes.