The Cabling Industry Invests In People’s Safety
When building or decorating our homes,
we want to make sure materials such as curtains, carpet or furniture fabrics
are safe. Checking the flammability of
those items is highly advisable, given that our loved ones’ safety is at stake.
However, we spend our time in other places too: the office, concert halls,
public buildings, schools and hospitals.
But how do we know all construction products have properly been
To address this, the European
regulators introduced the Construction Product Directive (CPD) to classify fire
safety in 1989, which later became the Construction Product Regulation (CPR) in 2011.
As an EU Regulation, the CPR is directly applicable in all EU
countries. The classification of the
reaction to fire of all construction products including copper and fiber
communications cables was published in 2016 and the final mandatory date
to establish CE marking of cables is 1 July 2017. All cables manufactured on
this date and beyond must have a CE marking on the packaging label, meaning the
product meets health and safety standards required for commercial use.
seven Euroclasses: Aca, B1ca, B2ca, Cca,
Dca, Eca and Fca, with Aca having
the highest performance and Fca having the lowest. Euroclass Eca cables meet the
minimum requirement of EN 60332-1-2. Read the CommScope white paper on CPR to find out which fire test standards each of the Euroclasses refers to.
An entity as diverse as the EU could
not make the requirements consistent across the entire continent. In turn, each
member country can adopt whichever Euroclass the country deems suitable.
However, the following philosophy currently applies:
national regulations exist, they have to be adjusted to match the CPR.
national regulations do not exist, there is no requirement to institute them.
CPR may be directly applicable to certain applications such as public transport
tunnels irrelevant of condition (b).
Simply put, different EU countries may require cables
with different Euroclassification for use in the same installation environment.
For example, some countries may require Euroclass B2ca
cables to be installed in hospitals whereas other countries may accept
It’s important to highlight that, since the CPR only
applies to power and communications cables permanently
installed in buildings, patch cords and work area cords are excluded from
easy identification, every product brought to the EU market has to carry the
adequate CE label with reference to the applicable Euroclass.
nothing is free and safety will be no less; it is highly likely that the CPR
will increase the testing and manufacturing cost of communication
cables, especially for the higher Euroclasses.
Our customers can rest
assured. CommScope manufacturing facilities serving the European market have
been audited and approved by Notified Bodies. Also, CommScope has carried out
extensive testing with multiple Notified Bodies for several years and we can confirm
CommScope will have completed testing of all our cables ahead of the July 1st
deadline. CommScope will be ready
to provide the proper Declarations of Performance for our cable products prior
to that date.
About the Author
Koen ter Linde
As the vice president of sales Europe for the CommScope Enterprise Solutions Division, Koen is responsible for driving sales within the enterprise arena as well as the development and execution of the strategy and programs for both sales and channel operations in Europe. Koen is ultimately responsible for helping enterprise organizations to strategically plan for the future, ensuring that the network infrastructure they install will handle the emerging applications and demands of their future business needs. Koen has almost 15 years industry experience and since joining AT&T in 1996 Koen has held key positions in marketing, before moving to Atlanta, USA to work at Lucent Technologies Network Products HQ, as market manager EMEA in 1997. He returned to the Netherlands in 2000 to head up Lucent Technologies’ SYSTIMAX enterprise market as sales director Netherlands, before becoming managing director Northern Europe for the Connectivity Solutions division under Avaya in 2001. The following year Koen was given responsibility for the Western European region after the acquisition of the SYSTIMAX business from Avaya by CommScope in 2004. Prior to joining AT&T he held a number of sales and marketing roles in Philips Netherlands and Bayer Germany. In addition to his business and finance qualifications, Koen holds a bachelor of economics degree in international business and management from HAN University in Arnhem, the Netherlands.