Considerations To Help Minimise The Risk Of Electrical Fires
Technical and Quality Manager at Marshall-Tufflex, Nick Hayler discusses some of the cable management specification considerations to help minimise the risk of electrical fires.
In the event a fire – electrical or otherwise – there are legal requirements in place to ensure the safe evacuation of building occupants as well as allowing emergency services to operate safely.
Under BS 7671:2018, Regulation 521.10.202 Wiring Systems shall be adequately supported against their premature collapse in the event of a fire throughout the installation. To aid compliance, manufacturers offer clips and fixings designed to prevent cables falling and creating a hazard.
An example of this is the Marshall-Tufflex Firefly range. Clips are fire resistant above 1000°C for up to 120 minutes, ensuring they will not melt or fail during the event of a fire and will continue to hold cables securely should the plastic trunking melt – minimising risk to life. Easy to install with a spring-loaded design, cables remain easy to access for professionals in the event of maintenance or wiring changes.
When it comes to properly storing cables, trunking systems should be compliant with the relevant regulations and product standards, to ensure the system is completely safe and cables cannot be tampered with or cause harm.
When customers are looking for installations in areas with large numbers of occupants, such as hallways, offices or even retail environments, we advise against trunking with a squared top edge.
This is because trunking with a flat edged surface can be a tempting place for people to rest items, such as drinks. To avoid this, products with a curved profile such as Sterling, Curve or Odyssey trunking are recommended to prevent any items being placed on top, and makes for easier cleaning and maintenance overall. This will lessen the risk of an electrical fire in these areas.
Other trunking options are also available that are suitable for resistance to higher temperatures, such as aluminium or steel trunking.
Dry Lining Boxes With Fire Barrier Pads
Additionally, in the event of a fire, the cover plate of a socket, switch or fitting may sag; leaving an escape route for fire to travel out of and into an adjoining room or ceiling. To prevent this, look for dry lining boxes with Envirograf® intumescent pads. When these are fitted, the pads will expand to create an effective fire barrier. This will ensure compliance with BS 7671 Wiring Regulations and Approved Document B of the UK Building Regulations.
MT Supertube is a robust, lightweight three-layer composite LS0H conduit that is pliable by hand. Extremely robust, it offers excellent EMI cable protection and in the event of a fire, is able to maintain working temperatures of up to 120°C.
A robust solution.
Marshall-Tufflex can offer products that are incredibly robust and durable. Our trunking systems use recycled PVC-U window frames within the manufacturing process. As the materials for window frames are designed to withstand external elements, they are more than up to the task of withstanding everyday interior use, and protect electrical and data cables from damage – accidental or otherwise.
All year round, it is crucial to ensure your customers are aware of the problems associated with inadequate cable management, and the risks posed by damaged electrics and subpar fire clips. It is worth spending the time researching the different products available that can help save lives in the event of an electrical fire.