Why are cables concerned?

Electrical cables can warrant the supply of energy and the transmission of information

The main cause of casualties in indoor fire are smoke and hazardous emissions which significantly reduce the chance to escape and extend the damage to goods far behind the burned area. The contribution of cables is key both in active and passive protection. Electrical cables can warrant the supply of energy and the transmission of information. They can contribute to improve the time to escape the fire.

 

LOW FIRE-HAZARD CABLES

Cables are not dangerous on their own if adapted for the scope and correctly installed but present everywhere in large quantities.

 
  •  Omnipresence: Cables - like pipes and air conditioning conduits - are everywhere around us, and most of the time not visible once they are installed. They link rooms and floors and go through the walls without interruption.
    In the event of a fire, cables can therefore be a vector of  propagation of fire.

 

  • Large quantity: The sheer volume of cables in modern buildings due to the rapid technological evolution (electrical appliances, telephones, computer connections…) can be astonishing. In many office and shopping centres, new cables are added, to upgraded IT networks or new electrical security standards. All theses cables represent a significant quantity of fuel for fire.
  Why are cables concerned

The majority of deaths in a fire are due to inhaling dangerous gases. It is vital to reduce the exposure time to these gases by facilitating safe evacuation with the best possible visibility. Low Fire-Hazard cables ensure lower smoke opacity and gases emissions, prevent flame from spreading and reduce heat release.

A low level of opacity of smoke produced and acidity of the effluent are basic criteria in the selection of materials that, in the event of fire, make it possible to reduce the presence of dangerous gases and to facilitate escape. It is essential that the production of opaque smoke and harmful emissions is as low as possible during a fire.

Research has proven that cables could contribute strongly to contain a fire and to reduce smoke, toxic gases and heat release (Simulation of critical evacuation conditions for a fire scenario involving cables and comparison of two different cables - Patrick van Hees, Daniel Nilsson, Emil Berggren - Department of Fire Safety Engineering and System Safety - Lund University, Sweden - Brandteknik och Riskhantering. Lunds tekniska hogskola. Lunds universitet - Report 3147, Lund 2010)

 

FIRE RESISTANT CABLES

Fire resistant cables are an essential component of any alarm circuit.
 

 Evacuation process

  During fires, buildings should remain functional to help in the evacuation process. People’s safety is the priority: fire safety equipments like warning systems, smoke detector, smoke extractor, emergency exits, and fire lighting equipment are key and must remain functional. Electrical cables are the backbone of all these equipments.

 

According to the behaviour of fire safety cables during fire, they can be classified in two categories: 

 

Low Fire Hazard Cables

Low Fire Hazard Cables
lower smoke opacity and gases emissions, even prevent flame from spreading and reduce heat release.

   

Fire Resistant Cables

Fire Resistant Cables
ensure integrity of function during a fire.

Regulators, architects, engineering offices, contractors, wholesalers, cables manufacturers, etc. everyone should play an active role in the use of fire safety cables.