In Support of Cables



Following the much publicised coroner’s reports some years ago on the tragic deaths of firefighters having become entangled in fallen cables, the Wiring Regulations have progressively implemented changes to improve safety. Not only recognising the access for fire fighters but also the egress of occupants, amendment 3 of the 17th edition of BS7671 required that cabling be adequately supported in the event of fire in all escape routes. This effectively precluded all combustible clips, ties, conduits and trunking systems used as a sole means of support.

As fire fighters operate all over a building and occupants may have to gain access to an escape route it was perhaps no surprise to see this widened further to include cabling in all areas in the recently published 18th Edition. Section 521.10.202 could not be more explicit: “wiring systems shall be supported such that they will not be liable to premature collapse in the event of a fire.”


Note 4 goes on to state: “Suitably spaced steel or copper clips, saddles or ties are examples that will meet the requirements of this regulation.”

Many suppliers have naturally seen this as an opportunity to develop many must have products, creating whole ranges of sizes and, of course, costs to meet compliance.

As a British manufacturer of cable management products Centaur see matters perhaps more simply. In two sizes only, 80 and 222mm, the Q Clip, is made in high grade stainless steel with a slot-and-fold-back design ensuring a positive mechanical support which resists opening up should the cables sag and pull under the stress of fire conditions. The sizes permit a range of cables to be contained and allow others to be added very easily if required. These products are principally designed to fit inside the company’s uPVC profiles of mini, maxi and multi-compartment trunking but naturally could be used as stand-alone clips.


Following Grenfell and the Hackitt report there will be a greater onus on accountability and suitability regarding the supply of all building materials. Centaur have therefore gained third party test approval to BS 8434-2 for this range of products whereby they are proven to support cables for 120 minutes at 930°C.

Additionally Centaur has produced metal saddle bars in both 20mm and 25mm sizes, powder coated in both black and white to match the uPVC conduit finishes. Aesthetically and commercially uPVC is preferred for many installations and with the use of just these basic supports the installer can meet compliance with confidence.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.