The safety of a normal electrical circuit is influenced by the selection of the product and its installation. When referring to the fire safety of cables – excluding the circuit integrity ones, which are not treated here – it is mainly – but non-exclusively – connected with the contribution of the material to the fire in terms of heat release and emissions. These performance are regulated in each country with the CPR Classification.
When designing a circuit, besides the usual electrical features, the Specifier must prescribe the level of fire performance required by local Regulations expressed in CPR Classes and additional performances (smoke opacity, flaming droplets and effluents acidity). Being aware that this is the minimum required and that it is his own responsibility to evaluate eventual specific risks, which require raising the level of fire performance of the cable.
When assembling an electrical circuit, the Installer must follow the local Installation standard for perfect execution but must be sure that the cables are CPR classified and their performance corresponds to the Regulations. Of course, Regulations supersede Specifications for the minimum admissible requirement. Specifications cannot prescribe the level of Classification lower than the Regulation
Compliance with CPR
Distributors should take appropriate measures to ensure that they place on the market only cables which are in compliance with the requirements of the CPR. Installers are responsible for the cables they install.
Cables must first comply with the CPR when made available on the market. Therefore, cables even of the correct electric/mechanical requirement, but not CE marked under the CPR cannot be supplied.
Low voltage cables are CE marked under the Low Voltage Directive (LVD), but compliance with LVD doesn’t allow for their use in construction. Maximum care must be given to avoid misunderstandings on the intended use of the cable.
Cables that are CE marked under the CPR must hold a Declaration of Performance, which provides all information to distinguish between genuine cables tested and assessed by trusted Notified Bodies from uncertain origin cables (apply to the My CPR Coach programme for further information on the DoP and labelling).
On the label are printed information about the performance of the cable and its origin. Also, the intended use and the Notified Body are clearly specified on the label to avoid incorrect use. The manufacturer, the cable type and the traceability codes are marked normally on the cable itself.
The Declarations of Performance (DoP) should be supplied with the Electrical Installation Certificate issued by the Installer to describe an installation. Therefore, the DoP must be available for the Installer in the local language either on paper or digitally providing the information marked on the cable or on the label.