The 2015 Amendment (3) to BS7671 seen the introduction of requirements for cable fixings within escape routes to be secured by a fire rated means of fixing. For electricians, this means additional time either installing additional metallic fixings or changing their installation methods all together to compensate for the additional time required. The question is… are the correct alternatives being specified and installed?
The new regulations states:
521.200.1 Wiring systems in escape routes shall be supported such that they will not be liable to premature
collapse in the event of fire. The requirements of Regulation 422.2.1 shall also apply, irrespective of the classification
of the conditions for evacuation in an emergency.
NOTE 1: Non-metallic trunking or other non-metallic means of support can fail when subject to either direct flame or hot
products of combustion. This may lead to wiring systems hanging across access or egress routes such that they hinder
evacuation and firefighting activities.
NOTE 2: This precludes the use of non-metallic cable clips, cable ties or trunking as the sole means of support. For example,
where non-metallic trunking is used, a suitable fire-resistant means of support/retention must be provided to prevent
cables falling out in the event of fire.
The above may suggest that the use of plastic expansion plugs as a means of fixings within escape routes. Are they no longer viable as they are liable to premature collapse in fire conditions?
Although still the industry standard, plastic expansion plugs as a method of fixing for any services in escape routes should surely be called into question. We at LINIAN are continuously researching and developing new methods of BS&671 compliant screwless fixings such as the LINIAN Clip which uses LINIAN Patented Technology to provide the only guaranteed fully compliant solution.