FIA ARTICLE - THE PUBLICATION OF BS 6701 AMENDMENT 1:2017 - IMPLICATIONS FOR CABLE SUPPLIERS AND CABLING INSTALLERS
On November 30th 2017, the Amendment 1 of BS 6701:2016 was released by BSI. The substantive part of the amendment relates to the statement of requirements for telecommunications cables in terms of “EuroClass” under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) in relation to their reaction to fire performance. This is the first time BS 6701 has been forced to mention reaction to fire performance although its sister publication, BS 8492 has focussed on this topic since 2009. However, BS 8492 is only a Code of Practice, providing guidance on the subject whereas BS 6701 is a full British Standard, which as stated above, contains requirements.
Why has it been necessary to publish the amendment?
The CPR does not state where cables of a given EuroClass shall or should be used. That is left to national standards or legislation.
In the past, BS 6701 has relied upon BS 7671 (better known as the IET Wiring Regulations) for the provision of installation requirements in relation to fire performance of cable. However, since the full implementation of the CPR on 1st July 2017 it has become evident that the revision of BS 7671 (as the 18th Edition, to be published mid-2018), will not translate of its existing British Standards for reaction to fire performance into those of EuroClasses in line with Article 8.3 of the Regulation. The reasons for this aberration are a matter primarily for the power cable industry to justify. However BS 7671 points to BS 6701 for telecommunications cabling and as a result, BSI have acted to implement requirements appropriate to the world of telecommunications cabling within the published Amendment.