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Note: The Top Fiber Questions series is dedicated to answering the most asked questions in the industry. From now until the end of the year, we hope to provide great answers. Most importantly, we’d love to hear your questions.
How do you verify compliance of fiber optic cables to new European CPR regulations for in-building applications?
Introduced in 1989 by European regulators, the Construction Product Directive (CPD), later the Construction Product Regulation (CPR), was designed to ensure materials and equipment that comprise buildings such as offices, schools, and shops are safe from fire hazards and other risks.
Safety is top of the agenda
With further classification published in 2016 on how products such as communications cables react to fire, a deadline for the mandatory CE marking of cables was set for July 1st 2017. The European Commission mandates construction materials like fiber optics have a common technical language like CPR 305/2011 for example.
All manufacturing facilities serving the European market will need to have been audited and approved by Notified Bodies, and the building industry will be required to work only with vendors that have carried out extensive testing with these Notified Bodies, and can provide the proper Declarations of Performance for their cabling products, organized in Euroclasses A to F.
This has been the first ever pan-European implementation of a ‘hierarchy’ of cable fire requirements. In order to demonstrate specific class compliance, manufacturers must provide a Declaration of Performance containing details about the Notified Body, and the applied verification system, found in the applicable harmonized standard (EN50575).
Every product will be required to carry the CE label appropriate to the applicable Euroclassification. The type of testing is determined by the type of verification system being used by the Notified Body. Euroclass Cca and B2ca use the most stringent verification ‘System 1+,’ requiring continuous audits and of the production facility and product testing. System 3 includes Euroclass Dca and Eca, which are lower safety classes.
Approximately 80 percent of the Notified Bodies are accredited for System 1+ and can assign Euroclass Cca and above. It’s important for organizations to ensure they are using the appropriate Notified Body which can be found on the NANDO website of the European Commission.
CommScope covers the full range of cables and performance across Europe, including single-mode/ multimode fiber cables, unshielded/shielded twisted pair cables and Category 6, among others. All organizations can ensure safety through compliance with EU cable regulations.