Ensuring cable management systems are fit for purpose

It is easy to understand why fire safety is paramount in electrical installations, but – says Paul Martin, head of Specification for Cable Management Legrand UK & Ireland – where fire rating for cable management systems is concerned, the lack of a British Standard leaves room for confusion. Here he explains how those looking after healthcare facilities can ensure that their product specification offers them peace of mind in terms both of performance in a fire situation and significantly reduced ongoing costs.

Regulations tend to move forward fastest in the period following a disaster. In the years since the Grenfell Tower fire, with ever greater scrutiny on the fire safety of building materials, Legrand's cable management team has frequently dealt with questions about the fire rating of our cable management systems. Rapidly implemented regulatory change in response to deadly fires, to ensure that areas of concern or weakness in the existing regulatory framework are erased quickly to avoid any repetition, is important, and to be welcomed. New regulations can, however, introduce new concepts, be hard to navigate and, until clarity is restored through future amendments and training, may result in confusion and anxiety within the affected industry — especially when they involve fire safety.

One safe way forward for those looking after electrical design is to ensure that the cable management systems they deploy are tested to the highest standards possible. This means that contractors need to have a thorough understanding of fire safety, the reasoning behind the updated regulations and standards, and why the premature failure of a cable management system in a fire should be avoided.

It is important that we, as manufacturers, can offer proof of our products' ability to withstand fire damage, despite the lack of a UK standard and legal obligations related to cable management products. When manufacturers provide that proof, contractors can work with confidence, knowing that their project will provide high levels of safety for a building's owners and occupiers.

Log in or register FREE to read the rest

This story is Premium Content and is only available to registered users. Please log in at the top of the page to view the full text. If you don't already have an account, please register with us completely free of charge.

Latest Issues