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AEI Cables spells out risk of not using approved Category 3 Control fire performance cables

20 January 2022

THE COST of not using approved cabling in signal and control equipment for fire safety is being highlighted by AEI Cables. The company is leading an industry-wide campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of not using approved cabling as specified under the revised version of BS 8519, the Code of Practice focused on Category 3 fire performance cables.

The systems powered by these cables – including smoke and heat extraction systems – assist Fire and Rescue Services in firefighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety. The application of Category 3 Control fire performance cables also applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings (among them tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, Shopping Centres and stadiums).

Stuart Dover, general manager of AEI Cables, said: “If these systems fail because the cable is not able to function properly then the consequences are apparent. Lives and property are at stake here. Category 3 Control fire performance cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a real fire.”

Dover added: “We have witnessed a lot of support for our message and our customers are seeing the peace of mind of installing approved cables which provide continuity of power for these systems.”

Industry backing

The wider fire safety industry and practising professionals have also welcomed the message, with the professional fire safety membership body the Institution of Fire Prevention Officers lending its backing.

AEI Cables is the only supplier in the UK with independent approval from the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) for BS 8519 Category 3 Control fire performance cables with a fire survival time of up to 120 minutes.

The company’s Firetec Enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by the LPCB to BS 8519 (Annex B) Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control.

The British Standard Code of Practice under BS 8519 contains six categories of cables – three for power cables and three for control cables – each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes.

All of AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and the LPCB. The business also holds approvals from organisations including Lloyds, the Ministry of Defence, Network Rail and London Underground Ltd.