CPR will require all cables marketed in the EEA to carry a CE mark. To get a CE mark all such communications cables will require to be tested and certified against the newly harmonised pan-European standards for manufacturing process and fire performance. There is a transition period (called the period of co-existence) of just one year.
Said Brand-Rex CTO Ken Hodge: ‘This is one of the biggest changes to hit the networking industry in over a decade. But it’s a really good change as it harmonises the classification of fire performance across the whole of the EEA, and it will radically improve fire safety.
‘CPR will now apply to all power, control and communication cabling within buildings and for any manufacturer, or supplier,to get their products through the very rigorous classification process will require a significant investment of resources and clear demonstration of controlled design and manufacturing operations. We at Brand-Rex have been working towards this point for many years and are well prepared.’
Until now, fire safety and specifications relating to construction products, and in particular cables, have been an unsatisfactory mixture of different standards in different sectors and localities. Due to the way they have evolved they were not even hierarchical with the result that abetter performing cable will meet a high standard but often will NOT meet one of the lower fire performance standards! A very confusing situation.
CPR finally brings something that the construction industry and top-tier cable manufacturers like Brand-Rex have been working towards for nearly 20 years. CPR brings, amongst other things, a single fully harmonised fire performance classification system ‘EuroClasses’ across the whole of the EEA.
CPR means a massive benefit for suppliers to be able to market their products across the EEA and for specifiers and consultants to be able to buy from across Europe and know that the products will meet their local requirement, which will now, by law, be stated using the new EuroClasses.
Brand-Rex believes that the EuroClass classification system is very likely to be adopted internationally in due course.
Said Hodge: ‘It is important to point out that CPR does not itself dictate which EuroClass must be used in which situation. That is left to individual countries and legislatures. What CPR does prescribe is that after the 12 months transition period ALL requirements anywhere in the EEA MUST be stated using the EuroClass fire safety specification and no other. After that it will effectively be commercially impossible to sell non CE marked cables into EEA projects.’
Information on the many UK standards and specifications that will change as a result of the CPR can be found at https://www.brand-rex.co.uk/technology/cpr