Cables leader AEI Cables is highlighting the need for the supply chain to be aware of the various pieces of legislation and guidance in the selection of cables to help make Britain’s buildings safer.

The systems powered by these cables – including smoke and heat extraction systems – assist fire services in firefighting and a safe evacuation in the case of life safety.

The company has been communicating the importance of following the technical guidance for the selection and installation of cables for Category 3 Control fire performance cables under the revised British Standard BS8519: 2020. These cables reduce harmful smoke, toxic gases and flame spread in the event of a real fire.

At the same time, AEI Cables has been raising awareness of the Building Safety Act 2022, which makes new demands on the supply chain in the interests of safety and governance.

Stuart Dover, general manager of AEI Cables, said: “These are important pieces of guidance and legislation which have been introduced for the right reasons to add further levels of safety to the supply chain.

“We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get the selection of cables right for these applications. If these systems fail because the cable is not able to function properly then the consequences are apparent. Lives and property are at stake here.”

The Act – introduced from October 2023 – makes new requirements for ‘higher-risk buildings’, which are those deemed to be of at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys containing at least two residential units.

Under the terms of the Building Safety Act, a Principal Accountable Person who fails to register an occupied higher-risk building ‘without a reasonable excuse’ will be liable to either a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

The applications of Category 3 Control fire performance cables applies to evacuation alarms for the disabled in care homes, emergency voice communications systems and voice alarm systems in relevant buildings including tall buildings, office spaces, hospitals, shopping malls and stadia.

AEI Cables’ Firetec Enhanced cabling has been approved and certified by LPCB to BS8519 (Annex B), Category 3 Control in addition to Category 2 Control. The BS Code of Practice under BS8519 contains six categories of cables, three for power cables and three for control cables, each covering survival times of 30, 60 or 120 minutes.

All AEI Cables’ products are supplied with approvals from independent bodies including BASEC and LPCB. It also holds approvals from organisations including Lloyds, the MoD, Network Rail and LUL and works to international standards around the world. For more information see the AEI Cables website, tel 0191 410 3111 or email

Image source: Courtesy of AEI Cables

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