The Construction Product Regulation (CPR) is a European law came into force on 1st July 2017.
The CPR establishes the basic requirements and the harmonized essential characteristics that all products must guarantee to be permanently installed in civil engineering works (e.g. homes, industrial and commercial buildings, offices, hospitals, schools, subways, etc.).
Regardless of the voltage level or the conductor type (metal or optical fiber), all cables which are permanently installed in buildings, either for power supply or data transmission,shall be classified based on reaction to fire classes.
The main rules imposed by the CPR
- CE Marking
The CE marking is the mandatory declaration, issued by the manufacturer of a product regulated in the European Union, which demonstrates how the product complies with the safety requirements of the applicable directives.
- Declaration of Performance (DoP)
Before placing a product on the market, the manufacturer must issue a declaration of performance which must include the identification of the constructor of the product, the intended use, the fire reaction performance of the cable, its essential characteristics, the identification number of the Notified Body, the date, stamp and signature of the manufacturer.
- Performance Consistency Assessment and Verification systems (AVCP)
To certify a product having high performances, a certified third party needs to be involved to control and certify all the production and bureaucratic processes of manufacturer.
The AVCP system for cables are three and go from a level 1 +, which means that Notified Body will have to apply strict controls and inspections, to a system 4 completely at the expense of the manufacturer with much less severe checks.
Applicable fire reaction tests
- EN 50399
Common test methods for cables under fire conditions. Measurement of heat emission and smoke production on cables during the flame development test.
- IEC 60332-1-2
Test for vertical flame propagation on a single insulated conductor or cable.
- EN 60754-2
Determination of acidity (by measuring pH) and conductivity of gases.
- IEC 61034-2
Measurement of the density of smoke emitted by cables burning under defined conditions. It determines CPR parameters S1b and S1a.
Cables have been classified into 7 classes of Reaction to Fire Aca, B1ca, B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca, Fca identified by the subscript “ca” (cable) according to their decreasing performance.
Each class has minimum thresholds for heat release and flame propagation.
In addition to this main classification, the European Authorities have also regulated the use of the following additional parameters:
- S = smoke density that goes from s1 to s3 with decreasing performance (applicable standard: IEC 61034-2)
- D = dropping of glowing particles that goes from d0 to d2 with decreasing performance (applicable standard: EN 50399)
- A = acidity of fumes that goes from a1 to a3 with decreasing performance (applicable standard: IEC 60754-2)