White Paper clears regulator smoke screen

Seeing a way out

Everyone knows from experience and newspapers that when polymers burn they release deadly smoke and fumes. A Nexans-authored White Paper now scientifically explains why you have to see 10m ahead to exit a fire, and how cables contribute to that line of escape.

Trial by fire

We were challenged to prove the efficiency of Low Fire Hazard (LFH) cables by national regulators who did not want to increase costs by conforming to upgrades under the EU’s Construction Product Regulations. Our tests fully justified our Alsecure® LSZH cables.

Life-saving performance

National regulators claim that LFH cables do not justify the overall increase in cost, arguing that today’s safety levels are adequate since few deaths are due to electrical installation fire. This is based on statistical analysis that is not always 100% reliable. Other studies show that smoke is still the critical parameter affecting safety. We examined their argument to determine what their safety assumptions were. In buildings, they were rather based on fire engineering than material performance. In the WP, we prove that engineering and the performance of Alsecure® go hand-in-hand!   

Frontline protection

All cable manufacturers will benefit from this detailed study. It explains polymer decomposition, smoke release, optical density, visibility modeling, and the possible negative influence of smoke exhaust systems which can homogenize smoke in a room, eliminating low-level cool and clear spots. Fire engineering is often calculated for ideal conditions, while material solutions operate in all conditions to ensure that the time available for escape is greater than the time required. This WP convinced the French fire regulator to amend their decision. Click here to consult it.