Both the Finnish market surveillance authority Tukes and the Swedish Boverket have launched a market surveillance for cables required by the construction product regulation (CPR). The role of the authority is to monitor the compliance of CE marked products, in this case cables.
The new fire classes required by the harmonized product standard EN 50575 are not always easy to achieve. In addition to the quality criteria of fire behavior, it is especially demanding to ensure that the cable installation properties do not diminish as a result of the development. Another demanding factor comes in the production process. In the production must be ensured consistent quality during the entire process. It requires not only knowledge and ability to develop, but also desire to ensure and maintain quality.
In Reka Cable’s we have our own CTC Cable Test Center, a testing laboratory in Keuruu for CPR fire testing. Our CTC laboratory offers fire testing outwards. We have a long experience in fire protected cables. Our fire testing laboratory supports the development of our products to meet CPR requirements, and to accelerate their official classification. It has also made it possible to determine the level of competing products.
The purpose of the new cable fire classification is to increase the fire safety in buildings. If the cables used in electrical installation meet the required standards, they support the new fire classification. However, recently a wide variety of products have come to the market, as well as indicators, that this may not always be the case.
As we follow the market, we have recently been paying attention to the quality of CPR cables in the field. As we perform the required tests for third-party products, tests have shown that products promoted to be more fire-safe, such as Cca or higher, have had quite different results from what the seller or manufacturer declares. The test results give reason to suspect that the goods delivered to customers may not always correspond to what has been promised.
Are we now waiting for the first news where a fire has spread due to cables poor quality? In a situation where the cables that were installed did not meet CPR fire class levels. Who bears the responsibility then?
Supervising authorities in Finland and in Sweden, Tukes and Boverket, are currently involved in a joint European project to investigate the level of CPR cables on the market. I look forward to seeing how they will react if the project reveals products that do not meet their promised CPR rating. Do you need to replace the “classless” cables? If the test results show that even the minimum level required for the installation target is not met, what will the property owner consider? Would you still sleep well at night?
At Reka Cables we know how important requirements of quality standardization are. Not only do we test our new cables, we also monitor the quality of our cables during manufacture processes. We insist that every cable from Reka is the highest quality. It is an absolute benefit to us and for our customers.
We are confident with our CPR cables fire safety. We have our own testing laboratory. Regarding basic cables, we have had a wide range of fire-protected halogen-free cables. In addition, we have now developed new products for the more demanding fire safety class Cca – s1, d1, a1, which will be launched in November 2019. After that, Reka offers the widest range on the market and makes it easier to manage the cables used on site by limiting the quality that can be selected for each site.