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Selection of cables for effective fire safety is of prime importance

Industry insider says fire-protection systems with inferior-quality cables can become redundant

| | Feb 19, 2018 | 8:00 am
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Installation of sophisticated fire-protection systems also demands good-quality cables that connect the systems, said Steve Williams, Commercial Manager, Wrexham Mineral Cables, while citing that cable quality is a commonly overlooked component in systems.

Elaborating on the issue, Williams said: “Conventional cables that connect fire alarms, smoke-detection systems and emergency lighting, usually burn out within 30 minutes of the fire incident, owing to the plastic polymer in them. When polymer plastic burns, it not only heats quickly, but it also adds more toxic fumes to the fire incident. With inferior-quality cables, fire-protection systems can become redundant, especially during an emergency,” Williams added.

Elaborating further, Williams said that owing to the high temperatures in the GCC region, polymer-based cables tend to break down quickly and need frequent replacements.

Speaking of alternative solutions, he said, “The alternative to this problem is the use of copper-constructed, mineral-insulated cables.” These cables, he added, can withstand a temperature of up to 950 degrees C for over three hours, and they can last up to 25 years. They can be used in various connected fire-protection applications and need no maintenance or frequent replacements.

Explaining another key characteristic of the cables, Williams said the outer covering material is a zero-smoke, zero-halogen material that does not emit toxic fumes.

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