The European standard EN 50575 states requirements for the fire behaviour of cables used in electro-technical installations in buildings and in both architectural and civil engineering works, which have entered into force on 1 July 2016. A transition period of 1 year has been set thereafter. The implementation, and the establishment of performance levels by regulatory authorities, must take place separately in each Member State. We will inform you about the most important topics related to implementation in the Netherlands.
The social importance of fire safety is increasing. People spend a great deal of time in buildings, unaware of the dangers that are present with respect to fire. And that, even though approximately 90 percent of all fires that break out every year occur in buildings. Ensuring quality in the use of building materials is, therefore, essential.
In 2011, the EU decided to convert the Directive on fire behaviour of construction products into a regulation, the CPR (Construction Products Regulation). The aim of this CPR is to provide reliable information on fire safety and performance of products in various situations. For cables, this means that these are tested with respect to their fire properties. The fire behaviour must be classified according to Euro classes and no longer according to the current fire standards for cables.
In the new CPR, cables are classified in Euro fire classes. The following seven fire classes have therefore been established, corresponding to classes construction products:
A: No contribution
B1: Minimum contribution
B2 : Very limited contribution
C: Limited contribution
D: Average contribution
E: High contribution
The relationship between Euro classes and the fire behaviour is determined in NTA 13501-6. This standard provides numerous combinations for the different aspects. Here it also applies that it must be determined nationally, which Euro classes one wishes to prescribe.
In the standard NEN8012, the number of classes for the Netherlands is limited to four aspects concerning fire behaviour. In addition to a contribution to a fire, additional classes have also been included, namely smoke development (s), flaming droplets (d) and the corrosiveness / acidity level of combustion gases (a)
The following fire classes are determined in the NEN8012 for the Netherlands:
Risk assessment for buildings and rules In the Netherlands, the requirements of the CPR are incorporated in the new NEN8012, which replaces NTA8012. NEN8012 is applicable to types of cables in (electrical) installations according to NEN1010. NEN8012 concerns the fire behaviour of cables in case of fire, so as to limit the formation and development of fire and smoke. The standard is used to determine the fire class. The new NEN1010, the new Construction Decree of 2012 and this NEN 8012 together form a solid basis for increasing and ensuring the fire safety of buildings in the Netherlands. In NEN8012, fire classes are determined on the basis of:
In this way, NEN 8012 provides two methods for determining the fire classes and additional classes, should be applied in the specific situation. In fact, it is a risk analysis. The two methods that are described in NEN8012 are:
Due to the change in classification and testing methods, the new EN50399 standard applies for fire tests. According to the applicable CPR rules, cables that fall under these rules must be tested again. The number of aspects with respect to which fire contribution is assessed, is thereby extended. That means that not only results over a given period, but also peak results are examined. The aspects on which cables are retested are:
Heat generation and burning falling parts are new aspects on which cables must be assessed. These additional criteria assist in better mapping out the risks concerning clearance and evacuation, such as flashover, disorientation and ignition of clothing. An integrated approach is enforced with the new EN 50399. These tests are applicable to cables, which fall in Euro classes Dca, Cca , and B2ca. The following overview shows the Euro classes which are applicable in the Netherlands, including the various tests and the associated requirements.
Fire safety is of great social importance and, because self-certification does not provide sufficient guarantees for quality and continuity, one has opted for fire-resistant cables through the application of an ACVP System (Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance). This represents an independent product release and quality control. Depending on the level of fire safety, type testing, factory inspections and random sampling can be carried out by an independent testing institute. It is therefore mandatory as of 1 July 2016 that the product bears a CE marking and, additionally, a declaration of performance (DoP). In the adjacent figure, we have also included the relevant standards, regulations and the connection between them.
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