Nick Hayler, Technical and Product QA Manager from Marshall-Tufflex discusses new fire safety regulations as part of BS 7671:2018 and what products to select to ensure compliance.
It’s safe to say; fire safety has never been so relevant. Existing fire safety regulations find themselves under renewed scrutiny as the nation looks to prevent another national tragedy like Grenfell. Whilst the rate of change has been fast, it’s crucial that apprentices stay up-to date with what’s new. Falling behind with changes to the Wiring Regulations could leave you unstuck on-site and mean that occupants end up living in unsafe environments.
Getting to Know BS 7671:2018 Regulation 521.10.202
The updated BS 7671:2018, Regulation 521.10.202 – which came into effect January 2019 – now requires wiring systems to be adequately supported against premature collapse in the event of a fire. This applies throughout the cable management installation, and not just in escape routes. For the first time, fire clips are required to ensure that cables are held up in the event of a fire. It’s to prevent falling, hanging and trailing cables causing an obstruction during an evacuation. The change is clear, but apprentices might be unsure over exactly what products they should use.
In practice, the update means that the sole use of non-metallic cable clips and cable management solutions are no longer acceptable on-site. Instead, look to use solutions that have been manufactured from metal. Whilst most metal fixtures are accepted, those made from aluminum don’t qualify due to the material’s low melting point.
The Firefly Range
To make finding suitable products easier, leading suppliers, such as Marshall-Tufflex have products that meet all the necessary requirements. At Marshall-Tufflex, we have recently extended our Firefly range, in line with the updated requirements, so it includes clips that are suitable for use on our entire range of PVC-U trunking and conduit systems. The clips fix to walls or ceilings and, with its spring-loaded design, are quick and easy to install. Thoroughly tested, the Firefly fire clips are fire resistant above 1000°C for up to 120 minutes and feature rounded ends to prevent damage to cables and injury to installers.
The range is fully compatible for use with our Mini, Maxi, Mono, Twin165, Twin Plus, Sterling Profile, Sterling Curve and Odyssey trunking systems. For Mini trunking, there is the option of an internal version that can be fitted within the trunking prior to cable installation, as well as an externally fitted variant for a fast and simple retrofit. Additionally, there is the choice of clips or straps for use when installing 20 or 25mm conduit.
What Installers Think
Even some experienced installers found the new requirements confusing at first. This was the case when we recently attended CEF Live in Birmingham. During the event, we had a number of experienced installers visit our stand seeking clarification over what they can and can’t use moving forward. Many hadn’t seen the Firefly range before and were glad to know it would help them to fully comply with the updated standards.
One such individual was Russell Morrell, an Electrician from RJM Electrical. He told us: “I was confused about how I could achieve 18th edition compliance with regard to fire. I visited Marshall Tufflex’s stand and one of their guys showed me the Firefly range. He explained to me how it’s actually fully compliant with the 18th edition and was exactly what I needed. I’ve been using the company’s products for years, but never even knew this existed!”
The updated regulations within the 18th Edition have been designed to make buildings safer for those inside them. For installers, it will mean a change in approach, but with our help, the transition should be easy. To this end, our new extended range of Firefly Fire Clips is helping installers keep up-to date on site.
To find out more about Marshall-Tufflex’s extensive range of solutions, including Firefly fire
clips visit www.marshall-tufflex.com.