On 1st July 2017 the new Construction Products Regulations (CPR) will come in to force, affecting the way in which the fire performance of cables is defined. There will be a 12 month period up to that date when existing cables can be sold but they will be gradually phased out.
The new CPR covers all permanently installed cables, including data, power, security, AV and control cables. It does not cover any cable assemblies that have a plug on either end, e.g. patch cords and power leads, but it does include fibre optic cables.
Gone will be the use of phrases such as PVC, LSOH, LSZH, LSF and Plenum. These will be replaced by a series of letters and numbers that will define the cable's performance with regard to flame spread (Euroclass), smoke production (s), flaming droplet production (d) and acid gas production (a). There are approximately 100 different possible permutations of these various parameters but a typical fire performance designation for a cable might be C-s1b-d1-a1.
It will be the responsibility of cable manufacturers to get their products tested by accredited Notified Bodies and to provide a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for each cable sold. Cable manufacturers will also be required to add appropriate CE marking and labelling on the product packaging. Distributors will be obliged to ensure that cables sold by them have CE marking and CPR documentation. Specifiers and consultants will be required to reference Euroclasses and s/d/a criteria for the cables to be installed in each project. Installers will need to be able to provide an audit trail to show that compliant cables were installed. End users/building owners will need to ensure that infrastructure on plans is in line with national CPR regulations.
The new CPR will have implications for everyone in terms of ensuring that, from 1st July 2017, only compliant products are sold, specified and installed. Ignorance of the requirements will not be a defence in a court of law should there be a fatality that can be linked to the use of non-compliant products.
After 1st July 2017 it will be illegal for cable manufacturers to sell products in to the market that have not been tested and labelled in accordance with the CPR. Buyers offered CPR compliant products prior to 1st July 2016 should be very cautious as the accredited Notified Bodies (test facilities) will not be named before that date.
Maxxam is working to ensure that all cables offered by us will be compliant with the new regulations as and when they come in to force.
If you would like to find out more about the forthcoming Construction Products Regulations and their potential impact on your business please contact Maxxam for more information.