By February 3, 2015 Read More →

New Regulation tackles ‘cable entanglement’ deaths

Life-saving legislation that will help prevent fatalities from cable entanglement will be included in UK Wiring Regulations, thanks to successful lobbying from Electrical Safety First, in collaboration with Fire and Rescue Services.

In recent years, there have been some tragic outcomes when falling cables have trapped both those trying to escape and the fire fighters trying to save lives. As a result, on January 1, a new requirement in BS 7671 – which covers electrical installations in the UK – came into effect.

The requirement compels all new wiring systems to use metal, rather than plastic, to support cables in escape routes, to prevent their premature collapse in the event of a fire.

One of the incidents which led to the new requirement was the death of two fire fighters tackling a blaze in a single flat on the ninth floor of Southampton high-rise, Shirley Towers, where fallen cables were found to be one of the contributory factors in the tragedy.

The new requirement apply only to cables within escape routes that are fixed to the surface of walls or the underside of ceilings. But it is important to note that – as is the case with supports for cables for fire detection, fire alarms and emergency lighting systems – all supports for cables in escape routes should be of non-combustible material such as metal.

Martyn Allen, Head of the Electro-Technical Division at Electrical Safety First, said: “We are delighted that our partnership approach to this issue, working with the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and other key stakeholders, has led to this important addition to BS7671 and a step-change improvement in safety.”