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Topic Title: AMD 3 CABLE SUPPORTS
Topic Summary: The reason why.
Created On: 31 December 2014 10:25 AM
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 31 December 2014 10:25 AM
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John Peckham

Posts: 8793
Joined: 23 April 2005

You will be aware of the change in AMD 3 concerning the requirement for proper support for cables in fire escape routes.

Please have a look at this article written by an associate of mine.

Read

Could I ask forum members to actively look for inadequate cable supports in fire escape routes when carrying out periodic inspections of all types of premises and if they are found to be non-compliant record the defect as a C2.

You do not have to wait for the new regulation to be implemented in on the 1st July if you need a reference then use regulation 134.1.1. Installing cables across a fire escape route that are not adequately supported against collapse in the event of a fire is poor workmanship as it can be demonstrated by the tragic deaths of 8 firefighters.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/

Edited: 31 December 2014 at 10:47 AM by John Peckham
 31 December 2014 11:01 AM
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mantutu

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Joined: 16 June 2013

Very good article, I would urge all to read
 31 December 2014 02:23 PM
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gkenyon

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Joined: 06 May 2002

Getting all those responsible for existing buildings to listen may not be easy.

It will be seen as a costly "retrofit" or "additional new requirement" - yet there are likely to be many relatively inexpensive means of compliance.

Bring on the white finished saddle brackets for plastic conduit and trunking installations to help get this going.


A bigger worry for me - which we all need to play a part in communicating:

Will the new requirement be visible to installers and maintainers of "non-power" services (alarm systems, control systems TV and telecomms / data networks etc.) ?

Let's get the info out there and ensure we get the "non-power" guys on-board too.

-------------------------
EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
G Kenyon Technology Ltd

Web-Site: www.gkenyontech.com
 31 December 2014 03:20 PM
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leckie

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Joined: 21 November 2008

Thanks for that John, very informative.

Regarding giving a C2, I know you gave a poor workmanship reference, but prior to the new amendment, if an swa through an escape route was secured with a plastic cable cleat, no NICEIC assessment, etc, would probably have even mentioned it.

We now know through the tragic events highlighted in the article, of the real danger. But I thought regulations were not retrospective? So can we really give a C2, and say the installation is "unsatisfactory" for continued use? I would think that would be just about every commercial building in the UK, plus a vast quantity of flats, etc.

I would have thought we could only give a C3 and advise that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out regarding the issue. The FRA would almost inevitably conclude that there is a high risk, and action would be required.
 31 December 2014 03:44 PM
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robwgun

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Hi

I carry out a lot of EICRs on Domestic properties; so we can define a fire escape as the hall, landing etc, so any ceiling surface mounted trunking ( or horizontally mounted on a wall at high level for that matter) could technically be coded up?.

Cheers

Robin
 31 December 2014 03:49 PM
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John Peckham

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I have been reporting cables cabled tied below tray with plastic ties for years. When you carry out a periodic inspection you compare the installation with the current edition of the regulations and report any departures on the EICR. We know that cables not adequately supported has killed people. We know that cables not adequately supported have the potential to kill people.

Leckie why would you not report cables not adequately supported in a fire escape route as a C2 knowing they are capable of killing people in the event of a fire?

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 31 December 2014 03:58 PM
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Parsley

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Originally posted by: leckie

Thanks for that John, very informative.



Regarding giving a C2, I know you gave a poor workmanship reference, but prior to the new amendment, if an swa through an escape route was secured with a plastic cable cleat, no NICEIC assessment, etc, would probably have even mentioned it.



Actually on our last assessment the NIC assessor recorded a "No" (non compliance with NICEIC rules) on the assessment sheet for a small SWA that was clipped (non metal cable ties) to a horizontal tray in a warehouse unit. The tray was adjacent to a fire escape corridor but would be very unlikely to block the entrance to the escape route. The reg quoted was 512.2.1. (which I personally thought was a bit harsh, but with very good intention) this was at the start of 2014, he's a good bloke and we discussed the issues with the fire fighters deaths.

Regards
 31 December 2014 03:59 PM
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slittle

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John,

I agree with what you're proposing as I have many friends across the emergency services to whom this poses a significant risk (it's not just firefighters wearing BA into jobs anymore)

The question we need answered is how to comply. It's great issuing a cert with a C2 on it but most of us know what the next question will be.

I'm still trying to decide how best to achieve holding the cables and their support system up there. I doubt plastic plugs are going to withstand heat ??

Stu
 31 December 2014 04:46 PM
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timothyarnold

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Plastic rawl plugs with metal o-band should be more than sufficient in my opinion. The rawl plugs in concrete should be able to resisit a reasonable amount of heat I would have thought.

Does BS5839 stadard for fire systems make any recommendations for installation?
 31 December 2014 05:10 PM
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Boolean

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I have recently carried out an emergency lighting installation to the communal stairwells of a public building..
All wiring was contained in mini metal trunking.. It's the way forward you know it makes sense!

-------------------------


Charlie
 31 December 2014 05:19 PM
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mantutu

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Stu,
you have to remember we do not intend to hold any cable up indefinitely. As even with steel fixings high generated heat would melt them and indeed the copper long before.
There are already on the market suitable fixings for cables, these should give at least a minimum time to allow safe evacuation of a building.
If we take the coding as an issue. I am in favour of Johns proposal for coding as a C2.
It is not an immediate danger agreed, but the fact that people have died as a direct result of the installation methods used I would be reluctant to negate its importance.
 31 December 2014 05:45 PM
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leckie

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I suppose my reasoning for my post was that the requirement is a new regulation. Now obviously that does not mean that there was not danger present before. However, the regulation was not there before, and it was common to see cables installed without fire resistant fixings. Now we have known for some time that the issue of falling cables is a real danger. BS5839 made metal fixing a requirement some time ago. But I was only aware of the issue from shortly before that amended version of BS5839 was issued, so what's that, is it about 5 years? So prior to that it was considered ok by most to fix swa cables with pvc cleats. If you consider that we are talking about escape routes, what if we start considering Open Panic areas? They could be considered as one large escape route. Even more code 2's.

I know we are inspecting against the regulations in force at the time, and I agree having had a little ponder that a C2 is probably the appropriate code in this case. So when does a change in the regs suddenly warrant a C1 or C2, and when does it mean that its not up to the current standard, but is for example a C3?

We had a huge thread regarding what code for plastic consumer units post AM3. The industry says C3. DZ say C1. I think JP says C3, but I might be wrong on that. But we know that London Fire thinks insulated boards are a fire hazard. So why aren't we saying a minimum of C2? What the difference?
 31 December 2014 06:10 PM
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Boolean

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I would rather be justifying why I have coded something as c2 than explaining why I coded something as only a c3 at coroner's inquest


Charlie

-------------------------


Charlie
 31 December 2014 07:03 PM
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timothyarnold

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What happens when you inspect a large building? Would you ask the building manager where all of the escape routes are during your inspection? What happens if you don't or are given incorrect info verbally and you don't code it?

Don't get me wrong this is a good thing but think its difficult to police during EICR and its down to the installers. Metal fixings for all!!
 31 December 2014 07:20 PM
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paulskyrme

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Joined: 12 February 2003

The issue is definining the escape routes.
Basically they are from any point in a building to the building exterior, not necessarily the closest fire exit as the fire could be locatd there.
Thinking domestic, above every doorway from a room, hall, stairs, landing, from every room, to every final exit.
Not an exhaustive list, just one to fuel thought.
In a large open space such as say the venue for Coventry ELEXX, the hall I mean, then basically the whole of the hall?...
Think about it, and code it, TBH, IMHO the harhser the better, not to get the work, but, with th possibility of saving lives, for real.

All IMHO!
 31 December 2014 10:48 PM
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leckie

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Well I think we have to be careful.
If doing an EICR this is with reference to BS7671.
Escape routes are defined in BS5839 and BS5266. So what are we actually inspecting?

If you were to see a building that you think requires a fire alarm or emergency lighting and it's not present do you say,C2? I would not think so. You might note the fact that there is none present and suggest a RA. However, the lack of either emergency lighting or a fire alarm system could be life threatening.
 31 December 2014 10:54 PM
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paulskyrme

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However, if parts of the electrical installation can cause danger, then they are dangerous.
 01 January 2015 10:32 AM
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lyledunn

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This important issue requires detailed clarification. There are many players in this but I am of the opinion that it is the IET who should take a lead role and set out clear recommendations on how they expect these regulations to be implemented. Further, they need to take a view on the important aspect of the retrospective assessment of wiring systems in escape routes.
Clearly surface mounted trunking enclosing cables that are secured only by the enclosure such as illustrated in the article must be regarded as potentially dangerous to fire fighters. Providing 422.3 was complied with then hitherto the installation may have complied with BS7671.
Whilst installation designers, electrical inspectors, fire risk assessors etc will have an important role to play, so will the FRS themselves. It is they who normally police fire risk assessments and it is they who could quickly get the message out there by serving robust improvement notices.


-------------------------
Regards,

Lyle Dunn
 01 January 2015 11:04 AM
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phantom9

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Joined: 16 December 2002

Originally posted by: robwgun

Hi

I carry out a lot of EICRs on Domestic properties; so we can define a fire escape as the hall, landing etc, so any ceiling surface mounted trunking ( or horizontally mounted on a wall at high level for that matter) could technically be coded up?.

Cheers

Robin


This is one of my biggest beefs about electricians. They look for situations that, in their own minds, require looking in to, and they only consider their own area of expertise, that of the wiring. Electricians are incapable of thinking beyond their Regs. book. The point I am making is this. A house, a domestic property, is small in comparison to a high rise building with designated escape routes. A house is small in comparison to industrial buildings where escape routes are mandatory. A hall and landing in a house is a hall and landing, not bloody fire escape route! This level of alarmist press does not apply to houses. If a house is on fire the need to concern yourself, as an electrician, about plastic clips supporting cables is way off the mark. Why do electricians do this? Why do they always try to apply situations reported as a potential risk to everything they can possibly think of until it gets silly. If you think about halls and landings in a house now you are already barking up the wrong tree. Please stop trying to find spurious situations to apply your beloved Regs. to and think a bit more outside the bloody green (soon to be yellow) book. Electricians are a PITA to be quite honest its about time they were told that life exists outside the green book and all ills cannot be solved by throwing Regs. at everything they hear about.

John Peckham has raised awareness of an issue that has been known about for decades by publishing an article written by his associate. Already bloody electricians are hunting for ways of coding stuff all over the place. It is quite appalling to be honest that the imagination of electricians is allowed to dictate and override what should be common sense. It is because a wire is involved that they think it is their problem. It has to be said that electricians have for decades installed plastic support clips to cables without giving it a second thought. Why? Because they can't! Only now, when an article is published and referred to in an open forum do the electricians suddenly start to allow their imagination to run riot (again) and start looking for how many different ways they can code something. Bloody idiots. You've had the situation staring you in the face for decades, chaps, so why does it take John Peckhams article to wake you up. If more electricians spent time thinking about wtf they are doing instead of installing day-in-day out what they perceive to be compliant with what the bloody NICEIC think then carry on. Here is one electrician who is capable of thinking. Very bloody angry tbh.

Edited: 01 January 2015 at 11:13 AM by phantom9
 01 January 2015 11:17 AM
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phantom9

Posts: 1757
Joined: 16 December 2002

Originally posted by: lyledunn

This important issue requires detailed clarification. There are many players in this but I am of the opinion that it is the IET who should take a lead role and set out clear recommendations on how they expect these regulations to be implemented.


Why Lyle? Why do you think that the IET should take the lead? Because it involves electric cables? No Lyle, the IET are the correct body to take the lead. The best people for sorting this out is Architects and Structural Engineers. They have (thankfully) no Green book to blinker their vision. They are intelligent and wide thinking about the make up of building fabric and structure.

Edited: 03 January 2015 at 12:29 PM by phantom9
IET » Wiring and the regulations » AMD 3 CABLE SUPPORTS

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