Draka is spearheading another campaign aimed at highlighting the dangers of installing electrical cables that fail to comply with the required regulatory standards. This time the company is focusing attention on the absence of cable marking, without which there is no means of establishing the cable's authenticity. In the absence of such marking there is every probability that the quality and performance of the cable is highly suspect and is from a disreputable supplier.
Under the banner: "If it's not marked, it's not worth it", the campaign is aimed primarily at installers but, Draka believes, it is a problem that should also concern wholesalers and distributors, specifiers and building control officers. Depending upon the particular application, there is a legal obligation to include certain information; the more demanding the specification, the more information is required to be shown on the cable.
Commenting on the Draka initiative Marketing Services Manager, Mark Froggatt, says: "Every year millions of metres of electrical cable are installed in the UK and it is essential to know that the cable being used is to the correct specification. With no markings on the cable it is impossible to know its origin and, more important, whether you can trust that it is safe to install."
He continues: "This is not just an issue at the initial installation stage, it also a serious concern when circuits are later modified. Fitting poor quality cable can have lethal implications and leave the installer liable to prosecution."
But what markings should a cable carry? To help installers, Draka has published a freely-available pocket guide and has an explanatory video presentation on its website. Both are available at http://www.drakauk.com/ . The company is also inviting anyone who finds unmarked or misleadingly marked cable being installed to send a sample to Draka in support of the campaign's aims to achieve best practice throughout the industry and eradicate this dangerous and reprehensible practice.
Among the markings that should be clearly visible on every cable are the manufacturer's name and the British Standard number to which the cable claims to conform. Providing the cable has been tested by one, the name of the independent third-party approval organisation should also be included. However, Draka is at pains to remind installers that merely stamping a BS number on a cable is not evidence that it actually complies. "Without third-party approval there is absolutely no guarantee that any of the claims made for the cable are true," continues Mark Froggatt. "Even if a third-party approval organisation's name is marked on the cable, if the installer has any doubts whatsoever - particularly if the cable is imported - he should check the marking's validity with the approval organisation."
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