Building owners and occupiers are increasingly requesting efficient building and lighting control systems as a way of reducing energy usage and saving costs. Integrating lighting into the building management system takes careful consideration and is very important that you specify the most appropriate lighting control cabling. Leading electrical cable supplier FS Cables discusses the challenges you could face and ways you can resolve them.
One of the most significant developments isthe Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which became a legal requirement in July 2017. Covered by BS EN 50575, CPR directly affects cables designed for permanent installation within domestic, residential and commercial buildings – in fact, any civil structure. To learn more about CPR, download a copy of the handy FS Cables ‘CPR Guide’, explaining each class and how you can stay compliant. Visit www.fscables.com/cpr
With fire safety quite rightly in the spotlight, CPR is the ideal opportunity to encourage designers, specifiers and installers to consider the contribution that cables make to the spread of fire. Cables are a particular concern as they run between rooms and floors, above ceilings and are often made from flammable materials. They can also be a source of ignition if badly installed, damaged or faulty. With this in mind, it is essential that your building control cabling complies with BS EN 50575.
The challenge with CPR is knowing which Euroclass to specify. Unlike some parts of Europe, the UK has not defined which class should be used in a specific application. Providing that the building owners, occupiers, contractors, specifiers or designers accept the class offered and it is contractually acceptable, any CPR-classified products can be used – whatever their Euroclass. It is still important to assess the fire risk within a building and the potential ease of evacuation. Lighting control systems are likely to be installed in airports, hospitals, prisons and high-rise buildings, which all offer their own unique challenges. Therefore each application should be assessed individually.
CPR is a great tool to encourage designers, specifiers and installers to assess the contribution to the spread of fire, however it doesn’t go far enough to address the main issue. It is well documented that most people die from smoke and fume inhalation rather than burns from the fire itself. One way to reduce this risk is to specify Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF) cables.
LSHF cables giveoff less than 0.5% hydrogen chloride gas when burnt, a tiny fraction compared to traditional PVC or LSHF which emits around 28%. Hydrogen chloride gas can be deadly andwhen in contact with moisture, forms hydrochloric acid. This poses a great risk to people - affecting both their respiratory system and sight - and nearby electrical equipment. Hydrochloric acid coats circuit boards with a thin layer of corrosive material which can cause random and potentially catastrophic failures.
The FSC range of LSHF lighting control cables are also CPR-classified, making them the ideal solution for installation in public buildings, such as schools, hospitals or airports, as well as high-rise offices or residential buildings where evacuation may be difficult in the event of a fire.
Make sure the products you buy are LSHF throughout, both insulation and sheaths or Jacket. Do not accept standard PVC cables that have been over-sheathed with an LSHF jacket or cables with PVC insulation. When the jacket burns through, the PVC inner sheath or insulation will give off poisonous gases in the same way as if the LSHF jacket wasn’t present.
Typically part of a building management system (BMS), lighting can automatically be adjusted, depending on natural light detected or occupancy levels. FS Cables has developed and stocks a wide range of high-qualitylighting control cables for use with all leading intelligent lighting and building control systems. The range supports popular systems such as Crestron®, Simmtronic, KNX®, Control4®, Thorn®, Mode, Honeywell® and many more – allowing for the perfect living and working space at the touch of a button, controlling lighting, climate and blinds.
Each lighting control cable has been carefully designed to meet the specification of its respective control system. KNX cables are being increasingly used in both commercial and high-end residential applications for total building control. The KNX cable from FSC has been tested and certified by the KNX Association for guaranteed compatibility with KNX devices and equipment and bares the KNX logo. This cable is stocked in 1 or 2 pairs, green or white for easy identification. External and armoured types are also available from stock as well as CPR-compliant versions.
All lighting control cables in the FS Cables range have been independently tested in the UK for CPR compliance. FSCare one of the largest stockists of CPR-compliant cable in the UK, now with over 600 different cables. This includes Alternatives to Belden, structured wiring (Cat 5E, Cat 6, Cat 6A Cat 7 & Cat 7A), fibre, coax, signal & control and power cables. For more information on the FSC range of lighting control cables, visit www.fscables.com/lighting