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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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 01 January 2015 11:53 AM
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Zoro

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Joined: 31 July 2011

Originally posted by: John Peckham

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?




So John, why would you not code everything C2, that is capable of killing someone?

Why would you not Code a Current plastic CU that does not meet the present BS/EN standard for a 650C hot wire test, which is all of them, but the Schneider boards.

Because JPEL64 has stated that it is not a fire risk until 2016, why should the commercial interests of the manufacturers affect a Safety assessment?

I do agree that plastic trunking etc. is not a suitable containment in fire escape routes as it places the public and fire fighters at risk.

Why the double standard, Safety reasons or vested Commercial interest again ?

.
 01 January 2015 12:46 PM
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phantom9

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Joined: 16 December 2002

Originally posted by: mantutu


If we take the coding as an issue. I am in favour of Johns proposal for coding as a C2.

.


I would be in favour of actually doing something. All this stupid nonsense about "what code shall I give it". You really do take the p.
Exactly the point I have made in my posts. Incapable of thinking outside the box.
 01 January 2015 02:45 PM
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Grumpy

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Goodness Phantom! And a happy new year to you!
As a mere DI I must confess that I hadn't given it much thought so I found the article quite illuminating. I appreciate that it is of lesser relevance to my kind of work but who wants to be blundering into a droopy cable in the middle of the night when your pad is aflame?
So, given that mini trunking is often the best solution to running a new cable should I start using the dline clips and are there any alternatives?

-------------------------
Only dead fish go with the flow. Be a salmon!
 01 January 2015 02:45 PM
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leckie

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Err, I think Phantom, that the reason codes have been mentioned, is that they were mentioned by the OP, John Peckham, and as this is a discussion forum, the points raised by John are being discussed.

Happy New Year, calm down or you might have a heart attack before the end of it.
 01 January 2015 03:04 PM
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leckie

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I've been having a think, and I reckon the requirement in BS5839 for non combust able fixings was actually about in the 2002 edition, haven't got access at the minute so I can't be sure. However, this requirement referred to fixing of cables in all areas, not just escape routes. As I recall, it wasn't brought into BS5839 to stop cables falling onto fire fighters, it was to keep the system operational for a longer time. I think the benefit of keeping the cables secure in a fire route was only considered at a later stage.

The requirements non combustible fixings for emergency lighting system cables in BS5266 only refer to cables for central battery systems, not self contained systems.

So from what I can see, the AM3 change has been pushed through on the strength of the reports from the fire services, and with good reason.
 01 January 2015 03:17 PM
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phantom9

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There are many ways to eliminate the harm to firefighters when tackling a fire from fallen cables hanging in their way. Thinking outside of the wiring regulations, dedicated firerated duct cable routes can easily be built in the building fabric, or around cables crossing fire access and fire escape routes. Where it is obvious that cables do cross the routes build fire raed fabric over them that is also structurally sound and capable of supporting loads imposed by copper and steel falling loose from its support. This is what I am on about. Electricians try to look at Regs all the time and quite frankly in this particular scenario there is more that can be done by other professions than electrical. The horse has already bolted I think the most apt phrase is. Rather than sending electricians around to look at cables send the architects in and they can identify far more lucrative solutions than any electrician ever will. It is NOT about codes. Forget codes. I am fed up of codes. Look at SOLUTIONS. Sod the codes. EICRs are for codes not every day situations preventing firefighters from being killed. Focus on the solution.
 01 January 2015 04:14 PM
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leckie

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Well Phantom, I appreciate that you are fed up with codes and EICR's.
Unfortunately, this thread, started by one of our resident EICR specialists, is about EICR's and Johns recommendation to issue C2 for indaquately supported cables. The reason he is saying this is that if a C2 is given, the installation will be classed as UNSATIFACTORY, and the installation will hopefully be made safe. How that is done is a different subject.

If you want a debate on ways of designing remedial action or new installation design then that's fine. Start a new thread, I for one would be delighted to read it. But I am also interested in discussing the subject from an EICR perspective.
 01 January 2015 04:29 PM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: phantom9
Forget codes. I am fed up of codes. Look at SOLUTIONS. Sod the codes. EICRs are for codes not every day situations preventing firefighters from being killed. Focus on the solution.

Get back in your kennel!

Woof
 01 January 2015 05:05 PM
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Fm

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Bow band solves everything in your domestic situation i would imagine

Clip cables as normal to joists then span the lot with a length of bow band every metre in the escape route
 01 January 2015 05:16 PM
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mantutu

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A good debate relies on input from all angles. So phantom9 is adding value to the debate.
Codes are all well and fine, alas most people apply them without thinking. A code any assessor gives is based on his fact finding and risk assessment.
The FBU have changed the way they do fire risk assessments and applied new rules and equipment to tackle this problem.
I have been using metal restraints for years now, all fire cables have been installed using the fire rated clips available, and other service cables have been installed on tray or basket retained by steel zip ties.
There is a method in my (madness) I agreed with John's stance on the code simply because very little gets done unless the company is faced with obligations under other statute laws. If I was to inspect and find a suitable reason for giving any code I would both gladly give it and through the systems in place defend it.
phantom9, you speak of thinking outside the box but show little evidence for doing so by inadvertently passing the buck to others.
Not all electricians are painted with the same brush, some I would admit do the job day in and day out without any thoughts whatsoever, others on the other hand do think, most sign up to forums such as this and debate ideas. Sometimes even making changes to good practice, and learning from their peers to boot.
You also have to remember that any cable installed above any fire rated fabric is not under discussion here, it is poorly installed surface mounted cables.
As electricians we have an obligation to do our best, educate those who do not know, and most of all sleep well at night.
I also have seen during this debate the argument put forward (in regards to coding) that should all consumer units be classed as a C2?
If I were in this instance to think outside the box, I would conduct my risk assessment on the basis of evidence before me.
So there are quite a lot of questions I would be asking myself in order to reach the appropriate outcome.
Some of these questions would be, how many lives have been lost due to consumer unit fires? followed by could a fire within this consumer unit result in the loss of life? followed by, well you get the idea.
As electricians we have the opportunity to improve the safety of all residents and users of buildings, providing we allow ourselves to be judged on our actions and defend our stance.
On a side note I do not do domestic installations so would be out of my depth discussing such. Hence my reason for supporting a code C2
 01 January 2015 05:20 PM
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Fm

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Put a metal p clip inside your surface trunking if there is no alternative way lots of fire installation companies do this.
 01 January 2015 05:41 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Bow band solves everything in your domestic situation i would imagine

Clip cables as normal to joists then span the lot with a length of bow band every metre in the escape route

If cables are clipped to the side of a joist above an escape route in a domestic, there would normally be a sheet of plasterboard below them in the completed building. Wouldn't the plasterboard provide adequate fireproof restraint to the cables if the clips melted? So no need for extra steel band as long as the cables are above the ceiling?
- Andy.
 01 January 2015 05:52 PM
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Fm

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I doubt in a domestic envirinment attention is paid to plasterbiard detailing.
Claw hammer through plasterboard by joiners tonbring cables through, hoping a pendant covers the penetration!
Decorators caulk instead of fire rated caulk
Don't you need double sheeting with standard plasterboard with staggered joint to achieve 30 mins?
Not many donestic situations use fire check plasterboard inbescape routes?

I read the fire teport into the glasgow school of art fire last year, interesting reading, pointing to penetrations in the building fabric from old services not being filled up to maintain the original integrity.
 01 January 2015 09:11 PM
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leckie

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I don't think this topic is about domestic situations. Other than escape routes in blocks of flats or or similar.
 01 January 2015 09:33 PM
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Fm

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Ok it's not domestic so use plastic coated metal p clips
Use metal cable tray or metal basket or metal trunking
Not exactly hard to do correct but as usual it comes down to money
 01 January 2015 11:54 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Don't you need double sheeting with standard plasterboard with staggered joint to achieve 30 mins?

Na, I'm pretty sure single layer 12.5mm + skim is fine for 30min. (at least I hope it is!)
- Andy.
 02 January 2015 12:26 AM
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mantutu

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This is a common understanding, and whilst it may be true it is not a recognised industry standard. Otherwise why would we have fire boards, sound boards and all the other compliant boards we can think of?
I know that some building inspectors will accept this, but some will not.
This is another debate, outside the remit of the OP.
 02 January 2015 09:00 AM
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lyledunn

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John,
just to address your original request to issue a code 2 using workmanship as a reference; that, I feel would be unreasonable for any installation pre-dating the new requirement. I do understand your genuine intent to make things better and I would concur that a code 2 might be appropriate should an installation erected after July 2015 be in breach of the the new regulations.
However, it is clear that there is no specific requirement to provide fire resistant supports for cables in surface mounted plastic trunking in escape routes in the current version of BS7671. I do not think that it is reasonable for inspectors to attempt to extract a specific determination from the the general workmanship regulation in order to support the definite new intent to prevent cables collapsing in a fire situation. Were this to have been even a passing thought of those who put the current version of 7671 together, then they would have been severely negligent in not providing clarity of intent by stating such in a specific regulation.
They have now done so and therefore from July 2015 you are free to use the coding as you see fit.
I would support you in your efforts to address the problem but not by conjuring requirements from a Standard that, at present, does not iinclude them.


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

Lyle Dunn
 02 January 2015 09:27 AM
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leckie

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Well that's why I was initially thinking along the lines of a C3 and a recommendation for a FRA, which would likely conclude that action is required. Now I am a bit undecided. Parsley said his NICEIC assessor cited 512.2.1, so the fixing not being suitable for the environment.

I would think that the vast majority of installation prior to the last few years, when installers became more aware of the problems, would have swa fixed with plastic cleats, pvc conduit, etc. So, if we C2 older jobs, this would mean the majority of installation being classed as unsatisfactory. We are now also aware that insulated consumer units are now considered a fire risk. On this forum, the very knowledgable Dave Z thinks we should code 1 insulated consumer units. So there we have it. The majority of all installations in the UK are unsatisfactory and Fire hazards if we follow the advice given by two very able members of this forum. Both have identified serious fire hazards.

The industry advice, ESC, NICEIC, etc,actually appears to be that a C3 will be the recommended code for insulated consumer units. I wonder what they will say regarding fire rated fixings to older jobs? When are new regulations retrospective and when are they not?

Edited: 02 January 2015 at 09:38 AM by leckie
 02 January 2015 10:21 AM
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MrP

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Happy new year to one and all

Periodic inspection;  for the most part it doesn't matter whether fire retardant fixings have been employed or not in a concealed instalation
It's outside the scope of a BS7671 periodic inspection unless specifically agreed adopting the IET inspection format.
It's no code end of
Cables concealed under floors or ceilings are outside the scope. 

The regulations are not retrospective.

For surface installations
There would be difficulty verifying the integrity of the fixings with so many fixing options.
The amendment is aimed at new commercial, industrial work only
As most guys on the forum are employed in the domestic market it will have little effect on their daily business and certainly outside of the scope of periodic inspection.
To quote C whatever is nonsense

MrP bacon butties with hp source
IET » Wiring and the regulations » AMD 3 CABLE SUPPORTS

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