The difference between standard and enhanced FP cable

26 November 2020

What is the difference between standard and enhanced FP cable?

Each construction standard calls for cables to meet the requirements of either 'standard' fire resistance or 'enhanced' fire resistance. But what do these terms mean and which FP cable is suitable for each level of performance?

The essential differences between the ‘standard’ and ‘enhanced’ requirements called for in the Code of Practice are survival time and test performance requirements under test conditions.

Standard Cables

'Standard' cables are required to meet the following fire test requirements:

  • A minimum of 30 minutes survival when tested to BS EN 50200 (PH 30) for fire alarm circuits
  • A minimum of 60 minutes survival (PH 60) for emergency lighting circuits.
  • Further to this, ’standard’ cables must also meet the 30 minutes survival when tested to BS EN 50200 Annex E, which exposes the cable to water spray.

Enhanced Cables

'Enhanced' cables are required to meet the following fire test requirements:

  • 120 minutes survival when tested to BS EN 50200 (PH 120) for both fire alarms and emergency lighting circuits.
  • ‘Enhanced’ cables must also meet 120 minutes survival when tested to BS 8434-2, with its additional water spray test.

For most applications the British Standards for fire alarm and emergency lighting cables, BS 5839-1 recommends the use of 'standard' fire resistant cables with appropriate methods of support and jointing. However, for certain applications relating to large un-sprinklered buildings, British Standards recommend use of 'enhanced' fire resistant cables, always with appropriate methods of support and jointing.

Similarly, the British Standards for fire alarm and emergency lighting cables, BS 5266-1 recommends 'standard' fire resistant cables for general use in emergency lighting systems and 'enhanced' cables for use in certain large and complex buildings, in which circuits are required to operate for longer periods to help evacuation.

FP cable range

FP200 Gold is Prysmian's 'standard' fire resistant cable and is the original alternative to mineral insulated, copper clad cable (MICC). It’s a tough, durable and dressable systems cable that’s easy to install and terminate.

FP PLUS is Prysmian's 'enhanced' dressable fire resistant cable, suitable for fire alarm and emergency lighting circuits for applications requiring prolonged use.

Both FP200 Gold and FP PLUS are manufactured at Prysmian Group, Eastleigh in Hampshire and have approvals by Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) and British Approvals Services For Cables (BASEC) to support them.

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