Building safety improvements proposed with fire survival circuit cables

Share this content


Addressing building safety concerns

A new white paper has been launched by Wrexham Mineral Cables (WMC) targeting serious concerns regarding building safety systems failures.

Central to this paper is the crucial role that cable specification plays in ensuring safety.

The report can be accessed for free from WMC’s website.

Understanding the role of cables in building safety

The white paper, titled Expecting the unexpected: specifying safety-critical circuit cables for fire survival, was produced in light of increasing concerns over building safety, particularly following incidents like the Grenfell Tower fire.

The paper highlights the importance of electricity supply in safety systems: “Building systems depend on the electricity supply being maintained in order to help keep occupants safe as they evacuate,” WMC states.

Further, it emphasises that the cables supporting these systems play a pivotal role in fire safety.

Choosing the right cables for safety

While both polymeric cables and mineral-insulated copper clad (MICC) cables are labelled as fire-resistant, the paper illustrates that they are not equally effective.

Notably, MICC cables have shown superior performance in real fire situations, highlighting a significant disparity in safety standards.

Despite this, there’s no mandate for the use of MICC cables in safety-critical applications, leading WMC to voice concerns about ongoing risks to both buildings and their occupants.

Improving the understanding of cable performance

After engaging with this paper, those responsible for specification will gain insights into the function and testing of fire performance cables.

It underscores that cables marked as fire-resistant might not always meet expectations in actual fire events.

WMC’s white paper rounds off by underlining the effectiveness of MICC as the true ‘fire survival’ cable, advocating its potential to elevate building safety levels, independent of changes in regulations.

Wrexham Mineral Cables comments on the report

Commenting on the paper’s unveiling, Colin Hughes, Group Manager at Wrexham Mineral Cables, said: “This paper is an extremely important and timely document.

“Questions over the effectiveness of cable testing regimes and current certification methods are nothing new.

“For many years, Wrexham Mineral Cables has made the case for better testing standards – especially for fire performance cables.

“Our paper looks at cable specification in the context of current attitudes towards building safety, and the shifting regulatory landscape – and explains the clear benefits of mineral-insulated copper clad cable – and its role in building safety.

“We welcome downloads from anyone involved in ensuring the built environment is a safer place.”

IFSJ Comment

Wrexham Mineral Cables’ recent white paper offers invaluable insights into the crucial role of cable specification in building safety.

The detailed analysis provided in this document illuminates the significant differences in fire resistance between cable types, shedding light on the potentially life-saving benefits of optimal cable choice.

It underscores the need for continuous evaluation and improvements in safety measures, particularly in the wake of tragic events like the Grenfell Tower fire.

This comprehensive guide serves as a critical tool for specifiers, arming them with the knowledge required to make informed decisions that prioritise both building integrity and human safety.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox