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A guide

to the selection of cable


types in accordance with the
recommendations of
BS 8519:2010
Selection and installation of
fire-resistant power and control
cable systems for life safety and
fire-fighting applications
- Code of practice
by T.L. Journeaux

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

Contents
Introduction

Page 3

Relationship with BS 7346-6 and the 2006 edition of


Approved Document B of The Building Regulations

Page 3

Fire survival times

Page 3

Cable selection and test methods

Page 4

Cable sizing and the effects of fire temperature

Page 5

Guidance on installation practice

Page 5

Protection of High Voltage supply cables

Page 5

Key Applications

Page 6

Key issues for specifiers

Page 6

Fire resistant cables - application standards

Page 7

Guidance notes

page 8

Printed June 2010


2

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

Introduction
BS 8519 is a new Code of practice giving guidance and recommendations for the Selection and installation of fireresistant power and control cable systems for life safety and fire-fighting applications:

It specifically covers high rise and complex buildings and recognises that the fire engineered solutions
developed for such buildings require a high level of performance from components of the building services
including electrical supplies.
It is intended for designers, contractors, regulators and enforcers, fire authorities and inspectors.
It identifies electrical loads defined as life safety or fire-fighting and recommends minimum categories for
particular applications.
It identifies three categories of circuits (Categories 1, 2 and 3) with fire survival times of 30 min, 60 min and
120 min.
It identifies appropriate cable tests for the categories.
It aims to ensure that the level of circuit integrity of the cables is not compromised by other electrical system
components.
It does NOT give recommendations for the wiring of fire detection and fire alarm systems which are covered
by BS 5839-1, BS 5839-8 and BS 5839-9 or emergency lighting systems which are covered by BS 5266-1.

BS 8519 was published in February 2010 and became effective immediately.

Relationship with BS 7346-6 and the 2006 edition of Approved Document B of The
Building Regulations
BS 8519:2010 is a complete revision of BS 7346-6:2005 Components for smoke and heat control systems - Part 6:
Specification for cable systems which has been withdrawn. The new CoP has an expanded scope to all life safety
and fire-fighting systems except fire detection and alarm and emergency lighting. It includes much new and revised
technical guidance relevant to the selection and installation of fire-resistant cables. The cable test method previously
given in Annex B of BS 7346-6 has previously been published separately as BS 8491.
For large and complex buildings, Approved Document B (5.38) refers to BS 7346-6 for guidance on the selection of
cables that need to operate for an extended period during a fire. This guidance is now found in BS 8519.

Fire Survival Times


Three fire survival times are recognised in BS 8519, according to the specific life safety or fire-fighting application.
For life safety systems it is recommended that the system should be capable of remaining operational for 60 minutes
in large and/or complex buildings and 30 minutes in others.
For fire fighting systems it is recommended that the system should be capable of servicing active systems for 60
minutes or 120 minutes depending on the specific application.
The fire survival times are allocated categories for ease of reference:

Category 1 - 30 minute fire survival time


Category 2 - 60 minute fire survival time
Category 3 - 120 minute fire survival time

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

Cable Selection and Test Methods


Cable requirements for the three categories are split between power cables (larger cables generally for 3 phase
circuits) and control cables (smaller cables with conductor sizes up to and including 4mm2 and excluding 3 phase
power circuits). Power cables would include supplies to plant (motors, fans etc.) whereas control cables would include
interconnections (often ELV) to associated alarm and detection systems providing signals.
Power cables of 20mm overall diameter and above should meet the required fire survival time (30 min, 60 min or
120 min) when tested to BS 8491. This is the same requirement as given in BS 7346-6 and is also the same as the
F30, F60 and F120 categories of BS 7846.
Prysmian FP600S high performance power cables meet the requirements for Category 1 (30 min), Category 2 (60
min) and Category 3 (120 min). Power cables of overall diameter less than 20mm cannot currently be tested to BS
8491, but their use is allowed provided that they can be demonstrated to give the same level of resistance to fire,
direct impact and water jet as required by BS 8519.
Control Cables of conductor size up to and including 4mm2 should meet the required fire survival time (30 min, 60
min or 120 min) when tested to BS EN 50200 together with an additional test for resistance to fire, impact and water
spray.
For Category 1, this additional test is to BS EN 50200 Annex E for 30 minutes and thus the requirement is the same as
for standard cables to the fire alarm standard BS 5839-1.
For Category 2, this additional test is to BS 8434-2 and thus the requirement is the same as for enhanced cables to
the fire alarm standard BS 5839-1.
For Category 3, this additional test is variant of BS 8434-2 with amended burning and water application times and the
details are given in BS 8519 Annex B.
Prysmian FP200 Gold fire resistant cable meets the requirements for Category 1 (30 min) control cables.
Prysmian FP PLUS enhanced fire resistant cable meets the requirements for both category 2 (60 min) and Category
3 (120 min) control cables.

BS8519 - Test Methods

BS 8519

Control
Cable

Power
Cable

Cat. 1

Cat. 2

Cat. 3

Cat. 1

Cat. 2

Cat. 3

BS 8491
30 min

BS 8491
60 min

BS 8491
120 min

BS EN 50200 PH 30
+
BS EN 50200 Annex E
30 min

BS EN 50200 PH 60
+
BS8434-2
120 min

BS EN 50200 PH 120
+
BS8519 Annex B
120 min

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

Cable sizing for the effects of fire temperature


The conductor temperature of a cable in a fire will rise above the maximum conductor temperature upon which
tabulated current rating and voltage drop data is based. This will have implications for voltage drop and the effects of
fault currents, which may be significant in certain applications.
Annexes of BS 8519 give guidance on the review of these factors together with a recommendation that the advice of
the cable manufacturer should be sought.
The content of these informative annexes is based upon Prysmian Cables & Systems guidance notes which are
included in this booklet.
Sizing of circuit protective conductors (CPCs) is also addressed in BS 8519. Where supplementing of the cable armour
with a separate external CPC is necessary to achieve the correct earth fault impedance, it is recommended that the
external CPC should be not less than 25% of the cross-sectional area of the phase conductor.

Guidance on installation practice


In order to ensure that the circuit integrity of the installed cables is not compromised by other components of the
system such as fixings, containment system, glands and joints, BS 8519 gives some detailed recommendations on
cable installation practice. Joints, of course, should be avoided unless absolutely essential.
It is recommended that cables fixings and fixing centres should be in accordance with the cable manufacturers
recommendations. Such recommendations for Prysmian FP cables are given in the appropriate cable data sheet.
It is recommended that robust armoured cables (such as those meeting BS8491 and BS7846) are installed either fixed
direct to the building structure or on a cable management system. In cases where additional mechanical protection
is required, installation on a cable management system or in a containment system is recommended. Any such cable
management systems are required to maintain their function in the presence of same fire, mechanical impact and
water jet conditions and for the same time period as required for the cables, although no specific tests are given
as they are still in the process of development. Manufacturers of fire rated cable management systems should be
consulted regarding the design and specification of compliant systems. (See table 12 of guidance note no.1 wiring
regs BS 7671).

Protection of High Voltage Supply Cables


For security of supply, BS 8519 recommends that mains supply cables serving life safety and fire fighting systems
should directly enter the fire rated switch rooms and not pass through the building. However, it is recognised that in
certain instances such cables may have to be routed through the building, in which case they should be fire protected
by a protective system for the appropriate survival time.
As suitable HV cables with intrinsic resistance to fire are not available, normal cables (e.g. BS 7835) should be used
with appropriate protection. Protection may be achieved by installation of the cable within a concrete trench with
concrete cover, routing within a dedicated shaft or void of the appropriate fire rating, or enclosure throughout their
length by passive fire protection material giving 120 minute fire resistance together with the capability of withstanding
the effects of a water jet after such exposure. Certain high performance systems based on composite panels of fibre
reinforced cement bonded to steel sheets are claimed to be suitable.
BS 8519 recommends that the performance of the enclosure should be assessed in accordance with BS EN 13665:2003 for integrity and thermal insulation under conditions of fire outside the duct. In order to ensure no adverse
effect on the cable, the measured temperature inside the duct should not exceed the initial temperature by more than
o
180 C. Manufacturers of fire rated systems suitable for cable protection should be consulted regarding the design of
compliant systems.
o

Restriction of the temperature rise within the fire protective system to 180 C will ensure that XLPE insulated cables to
BS 7835 will operate for the required 120 minutes.

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

Key Applications
Key applications where the guidance and recommendations of BS8519 would be appropriate to ensure best practice
and provide a secure means of compliance with Approved Document B would include:

Supply and control of Smoke barriers, Smoke control dampers, Smoke curtains and Smoke fans
Supply and control of Fire barriers
Supply and control of Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation Systems
Supply and control to pressurization systems
Fire-fighting and evacuation lift supplies
Sprinkler pumps, water mist, gaseous, powder, water spray and automatic foam extinguishing systems
Wet riser pumps

Key issues for specifiers

BS8519 is an important new Code of Practice giving guidance and recommendations for the selection and
installation of fire resistant power and control cables for a range of life safety and fire fighting applications
BS8519 does not cover the wiring of fire detection and fire alarm systems which are still covered by the
pre-exsting BS 5839-1, BS 5839-8 and BS 5839-9 or emergency lighting systems which are covered by the
pre-existing BS 5266-1.
BS 8519 replaces BS 7346-6, which is withdrawn and provides a secure route to compliance with Approved
Document B of The Building Regulations for large and complex buildings.
BS 8519 introduces the concept of time based fire survival times (30 min, 60 min and 120 min) defined as
Categories 1, 2 and 3 for both power and control cables.
BS 8519 references existing test methods and performance levels (BS 8491, BS EN 50200, BS 8434-2) except
in the case of Category 3 control cables where a variant of BS 8434-2 is defined.
BS 8519 does not require the development of any new cable types to meet its new requirements as existing
Prysmian FP cables are already available to meet each of the performance categories for both power and
control applications

Standard
(30 min)

FP200 Gold

FP200 Gold
FP400
FP Plus

Enhanced
(120 min)

FP200 Gold

Standard
(30 min)

FP Plus

Enhanced
(120 min)

FP Plus

Enhanced
(120 min)

BS 5839-9

BS 5839-8

BS 5839-1

BS 5266-1

(60 min)

Emergency Voice
Communication
Systems

Voice Alarm
Systems

Fire Detection and


Fire Alarm Systems
for Buildings

Emergency
Lighting
Systems

Fire Resistant Cables Application Standards

Cat. 1
(30 min)

FP600S

FP200 Gold
FP400

Cat. 1
Cat. 2
Cat. 3
(60 min) (120 min) (30 min)

Power
Cable

BS 8519

Large & Complex


Buildings

FP Plus

Cat. 2
Cat. 3
(60 min) (120 min)

Control
Cable

Fire Fighting &


Life Safety

FP200 Gold
FP400

(30 min)

Other Buildings

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

Guidance Notes
A Current ratings and voltage
drop for cables in a fire:
When a cable is involved in a fire, the
conductor temperature will rise above the
maximum conductor temperature upon which
the tabulated current rating and voltage drop
data given in Prysmian Cables & Systems Ltd.
data sheets is based.
In carrying a set current, a cable with
its conductor temperature at 950 oC will
experience a greater temperature rise due to
current loading than a cable with its conductor
temperature at 90 oC. However, the additional
temperature rise due to this factor will be less
that 50 oC and is not significant in relation to
the temperature rise caused by fire.
The voltage drop at typical fire temperatures
will be higher that at 90 oC and this may be
significant for certain types of load. Assuming
a worst case of the total length of the cable
run in the fire, it may be necessary to increase
the conductor size as illustrated in the
following examples.

Voltage drop calculations for


cables in a fire:
The process of calculating voltage drop of a
cable is normally straight forward. Tabulated
values are multiplied by the length of run and
current to be carried, to give the expected
voltage drop.
It should be noted that the tabulated values
assume that the cable conductor temperature
is at its maximum permitted normal operating
temperature.
If the cable is involved in a fire, the conductor
temperature and hence the resistance would
be higher, therefore the voltage drop would
be higher.

Assume a 2 core 2.5mm2 FP400 cable carrying


5 A over 50 m. Assume 2 m are at 750 oC
and the rest of the cable is at 90 oC. Volt drop
would be:
(19 x 0.001 x 5 x 48) + (19 x 0.001 x 3.0342
x 5 x 2) = 5.14 V
Example 1.2:
Assume a 2 core 2.5mm2 FP400 cable carrying
5 A over 50 m. Assume all 50 m are at 750
o
C. Volt drop would be:
19 x 0.001 x 3.0342 x 5 x 50 = 14.41 V.
Example 2.0:
Assume a 2 core 120mm2 FP600S cable
carrying 200 A over 50 m. In normal
operation the volt drop would be:
0.42 x 0.001 x 200 x 50 = 4.2 V
Where 0.42 is the mV/A/m for FP600S
120mm2 at 90 oC.
Example 2.1:
Assume a 2 core 120mm2 FP600S cable
carrying 200 A over 50 m. Assume 2m are at
750 oC and the rest of the cable is at 90oC.
Volt drop would be:
(0.42 x 0.001 x 200 x 48) + (0.42 x 0.001 x
3.0342 x 200 x 2) = 4.45 V.
Example 2.2:
Assume a 2 core 120mm2 FP600S cable
carrying 200 A over 50 m. Assume all 50 m
are at 750 oC. Volt drop would be:
0.042 x 0.001 x 3.042 x 200 x 5 = 12.74 V

The problem in determining the voltage drop


for a run of cable in a fire is to know the
conductor temperature at each point along
its length. Therefore assumptions have to
be made in calculating what the voltage drop
would be.

As can be seen from these examples, although


the voltage drop has increased from normal
operation, with part of a cable or all the
cable in a fire, the percentage drop from a
240 V single phase supply does not increase
significantly.

To illustrate the effect of assuming different


lengths of cable being involved in a fire, two
sets of examples are given, one based on 5 A
and the other based on 200 A load.

This to say :
Example 1, would give 1.98%, 2.14% and
6% respectively.
Example 2, would give 1.75%, 1.9% and
5.3% respectively.

Example 1.0:
Assume a 2 core 2.5mm2 FP400 cable carrying
5 A over 50 m.
In normal operation the voltage drop would
be:
19 x 0.001 x 5 x 50 = 4.75 V.
Where 19 is the mV/A/m for FP400 2.5mm2
at 90 oC

Example 1.1:

From these percentage volt drop values, it


would seem unlikely that a fire would have
a significant effect on most equipment being
supplied by the cable, even in the example of
the worst case given above.
However if it is required to limit the volt drop
to 4% for the example when the whole length
of cable is in the fire, e.g. motors running fire
fighting water pumps; then the cable sizes in
examples 1.2 and 2.2 would have to be

BS 8519:2010 SELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE-RESISTANT CABLES FOR LIFE SAFETY AND FIRE FIGHTING APPLICATIONS

increased from 2.5mm2 to 4.0mm2 and


120mm2 to 185mm2 respectively.
Rework of Example 1.2 but with 4.0mm2
cable
Volt drop would be:
12 x 0.001 x 3.0342 x 5 x 50 = 9.1 V
where 12 is the mV/A/m for FP400 4mm2 at
90 oC
On a 240 V circuit, the volt drop would be
3.8%.
Rework of Example 2.2 but with 185mm2
cable
Volt drop would be:
0.29 x 0.001 x 3.0342 x 200 x 50 = 8.8 V
Where 0.29 is mV/A/m for FP600S 185mm2 at
90 oC.
On a 240 V circuit, the volt drop would be
3.7%.
In order to calculate the voltage drop of a
cable in a fire the following factors need to be
known:
Total cable length
Current to be carried
Voltage drop per amp per metre (mV/A/m)
of cable at 90 oC
Cable temperature in the fire
Correction factor for volt drop from 90oC to
cable temperature in the fire
Cable length in the fire
Correction factors based on a copper
conductor with a temperature coefficient of
0.00393 oC are:
90 to 650 oC = 2.7260
90 to 750 oC = 3.0342
90 to 850 oC = 3.3424
90 to 950 oC = 3.6506
From the above it is possible to calculate
the voltage drop for cables involved in a fire
by assuming the cable temperature in the
fire and cable length affected, following the
examples previously given.
In most cases it is unrealistic to assume that
all of the cable length is involved in a fire. If a
cable size was selected for a maximum of 2%
voltage drop in normal operation, the voltage
drop of this cable would be a maximum of
4%, even assuming 950 oC.

B Fire Resistant cables under


fire and fault conditions
The melt temperature of copper is 1083 oC.
Therefore if a copper conductor in any cable
reaches 1083 oC, it will melt and no longer
function.

Cables such as FP400 and FP600S operating


under normal conditions are designed to have
a maximum continuous conductor temperature
of 90 oC, which is the combination of ambient
temperature and temperature rise due to
carrying current. These cables are suitable
for a normal overload temperature of 250 oC
based on their re-use and the fact that they
have thermosetting insulation (XLPE). The
temperature rise of 160 oC (90 to 250 oC) is
based on the conductor carrying 143 A/ mm2
for 1 second.
If =

V
Ze + R1 + R2

If = Fault Current (A)


Ze= Input impendance of the system (ohms)
R1= Resistance of the line conductor at
average fault temperature (ohms)
R2= Resistance of the earth fault path at
average fault temperature
During a fire, the fault current obtained is
lower that under normal operating conditions,
as both R1 and R2 are greatly increased due to
their resistance being based on a much higher
temperature.
Temperature correction factor for copper are:
Temperature
o

Factor

20 C

1.0

90 oC

1.275

170 oC

1.590

250 oC

1.904

650 C

3.476

750 oC

3.869

800 C

4.065

850 oC

4.262

900 C

4.458

It is extremely difficult to calculate the


potential fault current of a cable when it is in a
fire because much of the information required
is not known exactly, such as the temperature
of the cable in the fire, the length of the
cable involved in the fire, the temperature of
the cable not involved in the fire. However,
the temperature rise due to a fault, because
R1 and R2 are higher than normal, will not
be more than 160 oC and quite possibly
significantly lower.
Therefore, taking into account the melt
temperature of copper of 1083 oC and
assuming a maximum rise due to a fault of
160 oC, providing the temperature of the
copper conductor before fault is less than 900
o
C, the copper conductor should not reach its
melt temperature.

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