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Failing cable- a cause for concern


Don't take a supplier's claim at face value – that's the message from the British Approvals Service for Cables as faulty products become a major industry issue.

The announcement comes as BASEC reveals it has been contacted over recent weeks and months by a number of traders, cablemakers and end users with examples of faulty or non-compliant cable. Now it is warning of the severe dangers of buying and installing cables which lack independent third party approval.

Dr Jeremy Hodge, chief executive of BASEC, says the problem is getting worse and is calling for the industry to only use cabling that is BASEC approved.

He said: "A common misunderstanding is thinking that a cable is compliant or even BASEC approved just because the supplier claims that it has been produced to a certain standard.

"This is not the case.  Cables marked with just a standard number should be treated with caution.  It is probable that no-one has independently examined that cable.  Only cable marked "BASEC" is BASEC approved and has demonstrated its compliance to the required standard. 

"We witnessed a similar problem last year with rising copper prices and at the time advised wholesalers and contractors to be aware that some unscrupulous producers – including importers of cable – may be tempted to cut corners and use less copper in the manufacturing process. 

"Drawing down the diameter of the copper wire too much has the effect of reducing conductivity, and cables with insufficient conductivity may overheat and cause fire or reduce the level of safety against electrical shock.

"More recently we have also seen the use of materials other than pure copper, such as steel wire, copper-coated aluminium or badly recycled copper in cables.

"The problems don't stop here, though.  As we investigate some of these inferior products, often from overseas suppliers, we have discovered some have incorrect cable construction and materials used, and in some instances they have poor fire performance.

"Unfortunately, it is not until cables are installed, tested or used that this issue comes to light and by then it can be too late to avoid the enormous costs of rectifying the situation.

"BASEC-approved manufacturers recognise quality and safety and this should be seen as a sign of assurance for contractors and wholesalers."

BASEC employs a number of laboratories to conducts tests to all specifications and standards and ensures products sent for approval undergo fully independent test procedures using the latest equipment and technology.

By detailed examination of manufacturers' production processes and controls and rigorous testing, BASEC ensures that cable products meet appropriate national, European and international standards.

The BASEC schemes are designed to assess an organisation's ability to produce goods and services consistently to specification and customer requirements, in a safe manner and with due regard to environmental needs.

BASEC also offers auditing for process capability in cable making and offers independent testing and reporting in the event of disputes.


For further press information contact:

Sally Neary, Acumen Public Relations.

Tel: 01704 834772

Editor's Notes:

BASEC is the recognised leader in product certification services for electrical cables, data/signal cables and ancillary products. Through its teams of highly skilled engineers and auditors who possess extensive in-depth commercial and industrial experience, BASEC has a reputation for professional and rigorous assessment processes which ultimately lead to the issuing of BASEC's highly respected certification.

In addition, BASEC offers auditing for Process Capability in cable making, Certificates of Assessed Design for innovative cable products and independent testing and reporting in the event of disputes.

British Approvals Service for Cables,

23 Presley Way,


Milton Keynes,

MK8 0ES.

Tel: 01908 267300

Fax: 01908 267255

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