The CPR update means that performance tests on a cable’s reaction to fire will now be performed on; flame spread, heat release, smoke production, light transmittance, flaming droplets and acidity.
Cables will be characterised according to their performance level denoted by classification codes, from Fca (worst) to Aca (best), with no networking cables expected to exceed Bca.
What cable should be used?
The class of cable required for your building will be determined by the project specification and this is normally Cca (not to be confused with copper clad aluminium CCA cable!).
This is important, as normally Dca grade is used for our projects in other parts of your site. The choice of cable is important, as the better grades for fire safety increase costs dramatically, but will not necessarily improve safety, as cables may be within PVC containment or be within voids.
We use Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH or LSOH) sheath cables as our minimum specification for general (non-CPR) internal installations, rather than the more hazardous (lower price) PVC sheath cables.