CPR: let’s talk about the elephant in the room

The Construction Products Regulations (or CPR for short) are not new and many of us would have been familiar with their CPD predecessor which was around for many years. There has, however, been heightened interest of late since the European Directive on telecommunications cabling and associated re performance became a legal requirement back in July 2017.

From this point, all manufacturers of telecoms/data cabling for use in the UK marketplace were required under statute to have a declaration of performance (DOP), outlining how their specific brand of cabling met the CPR regulations with regard to re performance when measured against specific criteria. The 5 parameters of measurement as covered under CPR include – Flame, Heat, Smoke, Droplets and Acidity.

Every country has autonomy to set standards, and the UK’s direction from BSI is through BS6701: (2016) + Amendment 1 (2017). Ireland has not yet adopted its own minimum standards in this respect. However, it is widely believed that these will closely mirror those of BSI in the UK.

Although all reputable manufacturers complied with the CPR DOP regulations, questions now hang over other classification cables that are still readily available in sections of the market and can only be installed in limited situations that meet very specific parameters. ‘LSZH’ cables that were the previous de-facto industry standard are now time limited in that they must have been manufactured and placed on the market prior to July 1, 2017 and stamped compliant accordingly. As a result, most manufacturers have now started to phase out LSZH cables in favour of CPR compliance. (See also CPR305-2011, Section 86). CPR and the mandatory regulations associated with its implementation present challenges for design consultants, manufacturers, distributors and installers alike, and this is further compounded by a lot of mis-information as to ensuring compliance within the law. Many projects currently at design phase, those incorrectly specified with legacy standards or indeed subject to delayed start on site could fall on the wrong side of this crucial re performance regulation if not managed and addressed correctly.

Most of the main manufacturers have accepted the inevitable ahead of full statute ratification in that as a minimum all telecoms/ data cables and alike will comply with the ‘Cca’ standard and will be labelled as such through the DOP. CPR is here to stay and it is highly unlikely that it will be rescinded following the UK’s departure from the European Union in 2019. Its recent reference within the 18th edition wiring regulations is testimony to its importance. The Crown Industries team has a long tradition of being at the forefront of industry development and progression.

If you are unsure about CPR or require assistance on projects, call 0845 277 2200.