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Fire Protection for Cables

Buildings can incorporate all manner of cables, many of which will need to pass between different parts of a building e.g. through walls, ceilings, and floors. This can of cause challenges to the integrity of those surfaces, and the cables and dividing surfaces therefore need appropriate protection to prevent the spread of fire, smoke, hot gases and fumes in the event of a fire. Whether cables are permanent or ‘temporary’ e.g. a TV. camera cable, fire protection needs to be provided to the right standard. Here are some examples of how the challenges to fire safety caused by cables can be met.

Inside Metal Electrical Trunking

The metal trunking used to house wires / cables in buildings is a potential route that a fire could use. The trunking can be lined with Fireplug ETC Electrical Trunking Closers. These consist of Fireplug 102 intumescent material that’s enclosed in aluminium foil (for mechanical and chemical protection), and an adhesive strip on the back (with backing paper). The closer can therefore be stuck to the inside of the trunking where it goes through the wall. In the event of a fire the intumescent material will expand (as a reaction to the high temperature) and seal the trunking against fumes, gases and smoke.

Where Cables Need to Pass Through Walls or Floors

A Fireplug Cable Passthrough (CPT) can used e.g. in public buildings such as theatres and concert halls to allow the necessary (temporary) cabling to pass between walls and floors while maintaining the integrity of those walls and floors. For walls this CPT could consist of 2 steel plates either side of a wall with a PVC pipe between that is surrounded by a fire retardant smoke sock, which is in turn surrounded by an Intumescent Pipe Closer (FPB). As with all intumescent material, in the event of a fire it will react to the high temperatures by expanding and crushing the melting PVC pipe, thus closing the hole in the wall. The smoke sock can help contain the cold smoke which won’t be stopped by intumescent material until there are sufficiently high temperatures.

Ceiling Passthroughs (CPTC) for suspended ceilings and Floor Cable Passthroughs (Fire Rated and Non Fire Rated) are also available.

Routing Considerations

Where several different CPTs need to be used by the same cable, efficiency and safety can be maintained by using different routing accessories. These include Wall Hangers (along corridors), Cable Trays (above doors), PVC Routing Pipe (above ceilings / under floors), Pipe Support Brackets (above ceilings) and Joints / Bends for PVC Pipes.

Switch and Socket Boxes

Where electrical cables meet at switch and socket boxes, these boxes have to be recessed into the wall, thus potentially leaving wall cavities and the structure of the building vulnerable to attack from fire. A Fireplug Fire and Acoustic Socket / Switch Box Cover can therefore be used in these situations to maintain fire protection performance of the wall and delay / prevent the spread of fire.

Complete Fire Protection Ltd. Unit 2, Ferry Steps Industrial Eastate, Albert Road St Philips, Bristol BS2 0XW
Tel 0117 971 1917 Fax 0117 971 1727 or for more products, information and support email us.