Enhancing Safety with FP Cables: Everything You Need to Know

Enhancing Safety with FP Cables: Everything You Need to Know

Table of Contents

What is FP Cable?

FP Cables (often called Fire Rated, Fire Proof, Flame Retardant, Fire Resistant/ Resistance, or Fire Performance Cables), play a crucial role in enhancing safety in buildings and various installations. Flame Proof Cables such as Prysmian FP200 Gold and FP PLUS maintain circuit integrity and continue functioning during a fire.

Engineers design Fire Performance Cables to prevent the spread of fire and emission of toxic gases during such incidents. They help maintain vital communications, power and control systems in emergency situations. Constructed using special materials that can withstand high temperatures, they often have insulating layers and sheaths made from fire-retardant materials to maintain their functionality in such conditions.

FP Cables are indispensable in industries where fire safety is of utmost importance. They ensure continued operation of critical systems, enhance life safety, protect valuable assets and help comply with stringent safety regulations. The maintainance of operational integrity during fires makes them a crucial infrastructure component in hospitals, data centres and public buildings.

FP Cable Types

Commonly used in a variety of applications, several types of FP Cables exist:

Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cables (LSOH): Consist of materials that do not emit toxic halogen gases when exposed to fire. This makes them ideal for public spaces and confined areas such as offices, schools and train stations.

Flame Retardant Cables: Coated with a flame-retardant material that slows down the spread of fire and reduces smoke emissions.

Fire Rated Cables: Designed to maintain circuit integrity for a specified period during a fire, ensuring critical systems remain operational.

Prysmian FP Cables

Applications of Fire Performance Cable

Commercial Buildings such as data centres, hotels and offices utilise Fire Performance Cables for various applications. These include emergency lighting, fire alarms, smoke extraction systems, sprinkler systems, voice communication systems and emergency power generators.

Similarly, in Industrial Facilities like automotive plants, manufacturing plants and power plants, FP Cables fulfil identical roles. Ultimately, these systems are essential for ensuring the safe evacuation of occupants, facilitating firefighting operations and preventing the spread of fire.

In addition to these common applications, FP Cables (also known as Fire Proof Cables) play pivotal roles in Special Environments. Within hospitals, they maintain crucial life-support systems and emergency communication, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of patients. Tunnels rely on Fire Rated Cables for ventilation control and emergency lighting, vital for facilitating safe evacuations in emergencies. Meanwhile, airports utilise Fire Performance Cables to support critical infrastructure such as runway lighting, ensuring passenger safety and operational continuity.

Benefits of Using Fire Performance Cable

As aforementioned, the primary benefit of Fire Performance Cables is reducing the spread of fire in case of a blaze. By containing smoke and toxic gases more effectively, the environmental impact of fire is significantly lowered. Ultimately, using FP Cables enhances the overall safety of a particular premises.

Beyond that however, Flame Resistant/ Retardant Cables are designed to maintain circuit integrity during a fire, meaning they continue to operate in extreme conditions. Without them in place, a property would likely experience system failures, an increased risk of fire spreading, the loss of safety mechanisms, costly damage to critical infrastructure and the potential loss of human life.

Overall, the benefits of using Fire Performance Cables far outweigh the initial investment. In the long run, they provide a crucial layer of protection for properties and offer peace of mind to building managers, occupants and visitors alike.

Standards and Certifications

Fire Performance Standards specify the level of safety and resistance to fire that a particular product or material must meet. These standards are crucial in ensuring that Fire Performance Cables are designed and manufactured to withstand fire incidents effectively.

Take Prysmian Group, the world’s cable manufacturer by revenue, for example. Like Hoover and Jacuzzi, brand names that became synonymous with their products, Prysmian has made a mark with FP Cable.

Based in Milan, the company coined the term FP Cable and meticulously engineer products like FP200 Gold and FP PLUS Fire Resistant / Flame Retardant Cables to meet the strict standards outlined in British Standard codes of practice governing fire detection, fire alarm and emergency lighting systems.

Meeting the BS 5839-1 standard, this provides thorough guidance for designing, installing, and commissioning fire detection and alarm systems in non-domestic buildings. The Prysmian FP Range also meets the BS 5266-1 standard, outlining recommendations for emergency lighting in premises, focusing on design, installation and wiring to ensure uninterrupted functionality during normal lighting failures, enhancing occupants’ safety.

In addition to adherence to British Standard codes of practice, cables are classified under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) based on their fire reaction, receiving Euroclasses ranging from A (highest performance) to F (lowest performance), with additional ratings for smoke production and flaming droplets.

These standards are critical in industries prioritising fire safety. A thorough grasp of these regulations ensures proper installation of Fire Performance Cables, mitigating fire risks and enhancing overall safety. Manufacturers like Prysmian Group ensure compliance through regular testing and certification, assuring consumers of their products’ reliability during emergencies.

Available in various types to suit different environments and applications, Fire Proof Cables are durable and long-lasting. Built to comply with stringent industry standards and regulations, which require rigorous testing for fire resistance, mechanical strength and longevity, this compliance ensures their reliability over long periods.

FP Cable Installation Best Practices

To install FP Cable safely and effectively, it’s crucial to adhere to specific guidelines. Start by planning and preparing, ensuring you select the right FP Cable types tailored to your application needs and meeting industry standards for fire resistance and performance.

  • Use approved FP Cable Accessories: Common tools needed include cable cutters, wire strippers, crimping tools, screwdrivers, pliers, measuring tape, fish tape, a conduit bender, a cable tensioner, a cable drum roller and labelling tools. Approved FP Cable Accessories like cable glands, fire-rated cable ties, heat-shrink tubing, conduit, cable trays, fixing systems, sealants, junction boxes, connectors and terminals are also essential. Later in this blog, we’ll delve into FP Cable Accessories in more detail, showcasing our product range.
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment: You should always prioritise safety by using appropriate gear like safety glasses, gloves, high-visibility clothing, hard hats and fire extinguishers. Following relevant standards ensures both efficiency and compliance with safety regulations throughout the installation process.
  • Ensure proper cable routing: You should route Fire Resistant or Flame Retardant Cables in a way that minimises exposure to potential fire hazards.
  • Install cables at an appropriate height: This is essential to minimise the risk of accidental contact and damage. Avoiding sharp edges or objects that could cause abrasion will help maintain the integrity of the system.
  • Ensure proper cable separation and spacing: Maintaining proper spacing between cables is crucial to prevent overheating and to ensure optimal performance. You should make sure to follow manufacturer recommendations for the proper separation distances. Securely fixing cables using suitable methods prevents movement and potential damage, and you should avoid over-tightening to prevent mechanical stress.
  • Conduct regular inspections: Doing this helps detect signs of wear, damage, or deterioration, enabling you to promptly replace any compromised cables or accessories and uphold safety standards.

Adhering to these installation guidelines for Fire Performance Cables is vital to safeguard individuals and property in fire emergencies, significantly reducing risks associated with cable failures and enhancing overall safety measures.

As you can tell, cutting corners simply isn’t an option when it comes to FP Cable installation. Inadequate cable routing, the use of non-approved accessories and neglecting regular inspections can all lead to pitfalls that ultimately compromise safety and effectiveness. Therefore, it’s crucial to uphold strict adherence to installation guidelines and best practices. By doing so, you ensure the highest level of safety and efficacy, safeguarding both individuals and the property they inhabit during emergency situations.

FP Cable Accessories

As previously mentioned, FP Cable accessories are pivotal in ensuring the overall effectiveness of Fire Performance Cable systems. To provide a clearer understanding, it’s helpful to categorise FP Cable accessories into four distinct groups – Cable Glands, Connectors, Clips and Cleats, and Fire Wraps and Transits.

  • FP Cable Glands: These secure electrical cables to equipment, ensuring their functionality and integrity even in the event of a fire. These glands provide fire resistance, effectively seal against flames, smoke and gases, and offer sturdy mechanical support. Additionally, they maintain ingress protection and prevent cable pull-out or twists, which is particularly essential for safety in critical systems such as fire alarms and emergency systems.
  • Separable Connectors: These are used to terminate and connect high-voltage cables without cutting or splicing them. Featuring two parts – a plug and a receptacle – the plug is usually on the cable and the receptacle is fixed to equipment or another cable. When you put the plug into the receptacle, it forms a strong electrical link.
  • Clips and Cleats: Prysmian Group’s FP Firefix Clips provide the fastest, safest and most efficient way to install FP Cable. They offer an alternative to “P” clips, enabling the installation of fixings before the cable, thereby reducing the necessity for an electrician at this fixing stage. The Prysmian FP Cable Clips system utilises gas nailing technology to install fire performance cables directly to a substrate. Unlike conventional clipping methods, this is an extremely fast and easy way to fix FP200 Gold cable whilst offering significant installation cost savings.
  • Fire Wraps and Transits: These protect cables during a fire by preventing fire spread, maintaining barrier integrity and providing thermal insulation. They also seal against smoke and gas passage, enhancing safety. Additionally, they allow for easy installation and inspection, ensuring ongoing fire safety compliance.

Investing in compatible Fire Performance Cable accessories is crucial for maintaining system functionality, fire resistance and overall integrity. These accessories ensure seamless operation, prevent the spread of fire, smoke, and gas, and provide essential mechanical support and ingress protection. Compatibility with safety standards enhances reliability and safety during emergencies too.

E-Tech Components: Your Source for FP Cable Accessories

E-Tech Components not only sells Fire Performance Cable itself, but we also have a large variety of FP Cable accessories from stock, including:

Prysmian Draka Connecta – Fire Resistant Tunnel Lighting and Power System: When used with emergency lighting and in the event of a fire, Connecta maintains the integrity of the circuit even if a local device fails, allowing escape routes further up and down the route to remain illuminated.
Prysmian BICON Fire Resistant Cable Cleats: Fast and easily installed, they provide fire and flame resistance and meet British Standards requirements. You can use Fire Rated Cleats for all types of cable routes, and they suit all environments.
Fire Rated Fixings & Clips: Designers have crafted Fireproof Fixings after extensive research and development. They come with technical features and installer benefits that deliver outstanding value and quality. Individual products we sell include Prysmian BICON FP Firefix Clips, D-Line Clips and nVent CADDY Metal Pressure Clips.
New Range of Steel & Metal Products: Tidi-Cable products for the containment and management of trailing cable. They are fully compliant with the new 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations, effective January 1, 2019. Legal requirements mandate supplementing plastic products with steel or copper fixings to prevent any risk of cables falling in the event of a fire.
Prysmian BICON Fire Performance FP Cable Glands & Kits: Including nylon cable glands for fire alarm cables and weatherproof dual seal high performance glands for steel wire armoured cables. These products also go by the names Fireproof Glands, Flameproof Glands, FP Glands and FR Glands.

Since 2004, E-Tech Components has been connecting power with 20 years of expertise in the electrical industry. Our expertise ensures we provide products that save time, reduce costs, improve quality, and ensure compliance to standards and regulations.

As experts, stockists, and distributors, we take pride in offering high-quality products and solutions at the best prices. What truly sets us apart is our tireless commitment to Customer Service and Technical Support. Our In-house Tool Repair & Calibration Centre further distinguishes us, making us unique in the electrical industry.


In summary, FP Cables (also known as Fire Performance, Fire Rated, Fire Proof, Fire Resistant/ Resistance, or Flame Retardant Cables) are essential for maintaining safety and operational integrity in buildings and critical infrastructure during a fire. Designed to withstand high temperatures and prevent the spread of fire and toxic gases, these cables ensure the continued operation of vital systems such as emergency lighting, fire alarms, and communication networks.

Various types of FP Cables, including Low Smoke Zero Halogen, Flame Retardant/ Resistant Cables and Fire Rated Cables, cater to different environments and applications, from commercial buildings to hospitals and airports. Adhering to rigorous standards and best practices in installation and using appropriate FP Cable accessories are crucial for maximising their effectiveness. Investing in FP Cables not only enhances human safety but also protects assets and ensures compliance with stringent fire safety regulations.

FAQs about Fire Performance Cable

What is FP200 Cable Used For?

Prysmian Fire Resistance FP200 Cables, specifically FP200 Gold, is widely used in fire safety systems within public buildings such as factories, offices, schools and airports. It serves critical functions in fire detection and fire alarm systems, emergency voice communication and control circuits for essential services requiring “Standard” fire resistance.

FP200 Gold features an aluminium screened, dressable design with a robust INSUDITE® insulation system, ensuring durability and reliability. Its un-insulated tinned copper Circuit Protective Conductor (CPC) facilitates quick and dependable installation and termination. This makes it a trusted choice for emergency lighting, voice alarm systems and control circuits for human safety and firefighting systems. FP200 Gold provides consistent performance, enhancing safety and peace of mind during commissioning and handover.

Can FP Cable Be Used Outside?

If you’re wondering, ‘Can I use FP Cable outside?’, Prysmian FP200 Gold and Prysmian FP PLUS Fire Resistant Cables feature a UV stable outer sheath, making them suitable for outdoor use in the UK’s climate.

Although all polymers degrade over time, exposure to UV radiation accelerates this process. Installers shouldn’t place cables lacking a UV-stable sheath outdoors without protection, as sunlight will degrade the sheath’s properties, leading to cracking and eventual deterioration. Cables with a UV-resistant sheath are designed to maintain their mechanical properties for a significantly longer duration, in contrast to those without such protection.

What is the Difference Between Prysmian’s Standard FP Cable and Enhanced FP Cable?

The primary difference between Prysmian’s Standard and Enhanced FP Cable lies in their fire resistance performance and testing requirements. Standard FP Cables are designed to meet a minimum survival time of 30 minutes under fire conditions for alarm circuits (PH 30) and 60 minutes for emergency lighting circuits (PH 60) as per BS EN 50200, including a 30-minute water spray test.

In contrast, Enhanced FP Cables provide superior fire resistance, surviving up to 120 minutes (PH 120) in both fire alarms and emergency lighting applications, with additional testing under BS 8434-2, which includes a rigorous water spray test. Standard Fire Resistant Cables are for general use in emergency lighting and fire alarm systems. However, Enhanced Fire Cables are necessary for larger, unsprinklered buildings where prolonged circuit integrity is critical.

You should know that Prysmian offer products such as FP200 Gold for Standard and FP PLUS for Enhanced Fire Resistance. Both are certified by Loss Prevention and Certification Board (LPCB) and British Approvals Services For Cables (BASEC) for reliability and safety in fire protection systems.

Additional Resources for Further Reading

  1. FP Firefix Clips for Rapid Installation of FP Cable
  2. Calculating the Correct Cable Cleat Spacing
  3. Prysmian Fire Performance (FP) Cables
  4. Prysmian: What is FP Cable?
  5. Prysmian: What is the Difference Between Standard and Enhanced FP cable?

Are you ready to upgrade your Fire Safety Infrastructure?

Call +44 (0)1744 762 929 or email sales@etechcomponents.com today for expert advice, competitive prices and exceptional customer service.

Let’s ensure your critical systems stay protected during emergencies!

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