Cable systems testing

Warringtonfire can undertake reaction to fire testing for cable systems in its laboratories in the UK, Gent and Frankfurt.

Reaction to fire testing focuses on how the cable systems perform when exposed to fire. Tests are used to measure its effect on the flame spread, burning droplets and toxic emissions.

Cables should also be fire-resistant, meaning that the cable can continue to work, even in a fire event. Fire resistance is made possible using the correct insulation material; Warringtonfire can perform fire resistance testing for most insulating materials. This material will also be difficult to ignite and help contain the flame spread.

Why do I need to test my cable systems?

Cable systems testing is undertaken to demonstrate how these products will perform in a fire scenario. Due to the different types of materials involved in cable systems, significant amounts of smoke, toxic fumes, heat, and burning droplets can be produced when they burn. If these systems are left untested, their reaction to fire can add to flame and smoke spread in a real-life situation, impeding evacuation and allowing the fire to develop faster.

However, while fire testing of the cable systems is significant, it is not the only testing a system should be subjected to. It is essential that all parts of the cable system are fit-for-purpose and will not fault electrically or mechanically, which may cause a fire.

What testing will my cable systems require?

Warringtonfire can perform the following types of reaction to fire tests for cable systems:

  • Circuit Integrity: This range of tests assesses the ability of a cable to maintain circuit integrity under fire conditions. The inclusion of water and/or mechanical shock with the fire conditions is normally a prerequisite of most test standards. Tests conducted include BS 6387, BS 7846, BS 8434, BS EN 50200 & IEC 60331.
  • Toxicity: These tests determine how toxic, corrosive or acidic the gases from a burning cable are. Our scientists and chemists employ a wide range of analytical techniques that enable them to work to a wide range of standards, including BS EN 50267, IEC 60754, BS EN 60684, IMO MSC 61(67) Part 2, NF X 70-100, LUL 1-085, BS 6853: Annex B.1 & Def Stan (NES) 02-713.
  • Smoke Emission: Such tests provide data relating to the density of smoke produced from a burning cable (optical density). Tests conducted include BS EN 50268, IEC 61034, BS EN 60684, IMO MSC 61(67) Part 2, LUL 1-085, BS 6853: Annex D.8.7 & Def Stan (NES) 02-711.
  • Flammability: These tests include small scale ignitibility and large scale cable fire propagation tests, in which we investigate the flame spread along vertically supported cables. Tests conducted include EN 50266, IEC 60695 & BS EN/IEC 60332.
  • Vertical flame spread: This test assesses the flame spread, heat release, smoke production and flaming droplets in vertically-mounted cable systems. This test is conducted to EN 50399.

What are cable systems?

Cable systems are the wires, along with their fixtures and fittings, that route around a building. Often found in suspended ceilings, they create a pathway that could allow a fire to spread effectively.

Along with the risks to life safety this can bring if these systems are compromised in a fire event, their failure could also cause long-term effects to sensitive electrical equipment.

Cable system testing and building regulations

Building regulations across the globe exist to ensure that completed buildings are safe for use. In most local versions of these regulations, it will state explicitly that the performance of cable systems is integral to the safe running of a building.

By having your cable systems tested in Warringtonfire’s third-party accredited laboratories, whether in the UK, Gent or Frankfurt, you can be assured that your cable systems will be compliant with local codes and perform correctly in the event of a fire.