SWA’s range of Firefly fire safety clips and cleats are designed to solve a real problem – and one that can have tragic consequences, too. Here, the company talks through the necessity of keeping up to date with the latest legislation changes.
While overhead cabling does not normally present a risk – in fact, having cables neatly out of reach in plastic trunking is a very sensible safety measure – all that changes as soon as a fire breaks out.
The plastic quickly melts and the combined weight of the cables brings it all down, blocking escape routes in offices and industrial buildings. Those fallen cables then become a major safety hazard as people try to escape, often in poor visibility because of smoke and amid noxious fumes. From 2004 to 2014, there were 14 fatalities as a result of people becoming entrapped in cables. The figure includes firefighters, who are at particular risk of entanglement because of the equipment they carry.
A deadly problem
SWA’s Firefly clips have been specifically designed to solve this deadly problem, while at the same time complying fully with the new regulations brought in to tackle it.
Their spring-loaded design ensures they dig in tighter as a fire takes hold, embedding themselves firmly into the substructure they are affixed to and virtually eliminating the risk of overhead cables falling. The spring loading also allows for the easy addition or removal of cables in the months and years after installation.
Crucially, they have been proven to retain their shape and strength in the searing temperatures of a building fire. Firefly fire safety clips recently won eight Warrington Fire Safety Certificates, covering the entire range. The tests were conducted using Prysmian Plus fire alarm cable, and the clips stayed in place as temperatures reached 970ºC for 120 minutes, easily surpassing the required resistance time of 45 minutes set to allow fire alarms to ring for as long as possible. The comprehensive Warrington procedure also included a shock and water spray test.
Firefly safety clips are 100% compliant with the 18th Edition BS 7671:2018 Wiring Regulations, which make it mandatory to secure all surface cables with metal clips. The regulations became mandatory at the start of last year, prohibiting non-metallic clips or plastic trunking as the sole means of support for fire alarms, HVAC, CCTV and general electrical cabling.
Ideal for walls and ceilings in both new installations and retrofits, the full Firefly Fixings range includes cable clips, cleats and clips for use inside and outside plastic trunking and to secure conduit and cable tray. There are even clips designed to be used directly into masonry, independently of any trunking.
The high-precision, zinc-plated clips feature rounded ends, preventing damage to cables and injury to electricians. They have a melt point of over 970ºC.
Firefly internal trunking clips are available in all sizes from 16 x 16mm to 50 x 50mm, and from 16 x 16mm and 40 x 25mm for the external clips. In addition to the spring-loaded trunking clips, the range includes conduit clips for both 20 and 25mm conduit.
Impact-resistant and corrosion-resistant, Firefly cable cleats are designed to be easy to install and are supplied in sizes matching existing No. 5 to No. 20 plastic cleats.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To learn more about SWA, visit: https://www.swaonline.co.uk/