CPR Cabling: What Do I Need To Know?
What is a CPR Cable and do I need one?
CPR is the abbreviation of 'Construction Products Regulation' and refers to the European regulation regarding the fire-safety (fire reactivity) of construction products. Provided they are used for fixed installations, this also includes cables. More specifically, electrical, data, speaker and other communication cables. All cables are therefore fire-safety tested and assigned a classification based on that test. The appropriate cables can be selected based on the classification and a building’s fire risk.
How are CPR Cables classified?
Provision EN 50575 lays out the standard by which cables are classified, in other words when a cable meets the specified requirements. A number of features determine the classification of a CPR cable.
- Fire reactivity, indicated by a capital letter from A (non-combustible) to F (highly combustible) followed by lower case letters 'ca'.
- Smoke production, indicated by the letter 's' followed by a number.
- Burning and falling particles, indicated by the letter 'd' followed by a number.
- Acidity of the smoke, indicated by the letter 'a' followed by a number.
The CPR classification of a cable always includes all of these components, for example B2ca, s1, d0, a1. This CE marking is also usually printed on the cable sheathe itself. There are currently no cables with A and B1 classification available; the highest class currently available regarding flammability is cables with a B2ca classification. On each of our product pages, it is always clearly stated what classification a specific cable has been given.
The images below provide more information regarding the meaning of the letters and numbers used for classification.
Which CPR cable do I need?
Which classification you need depends on the fire risk of the installation space. This is determined by factoring in the function of a space and the objects within that space. For example, there are marked differences between a hospital, a parking garage and a warehouse. The type of cable used also varies from country to country and is laid down in national regulations. In general, you can use a cable with B2ca, s1, d0, a1 for every project. This is currently the highest possible cable rating and, due to the quality of cables with this rating, they can also always be used for situations with a low fire risk.
Is CPR cabling always necessary?
The CPR standard was first introduced on the 1st of July 2016 with a transitional period of one year. From the 1st of July 2017, all applicable cables must be CPR classified and labelled. The manner in which cables are classified is the same for all EU countries while each country has its own standard for the use of CPR cables. This specifies the type of cable required depending on the function of a room or building.
DoP: Declaration of Performance
Part of the legislation includes the obligation to display a Declaration of Performance. This is a statement that certifies that the cable has been tested and received a classification. Such a document is usually supplied with a reel or, in the case of loose metres of cable, available from the cable manufacturer.
CPR cables are installation cables used as part of permanent installations that have undergone various fire safety tests. In the UK, the use of these cables for construction projects has been made mandatory since July 2017. As the end-user, the installer is partly responsible for the use of correctly classified cabling. Following installation, it must be possible to display the Declaration of Performance.
When installing cables for permanent use, you are required to use CPR cabling. These cables have been tested for their fire safety properties.