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Time is up for rubber sheathed cables


The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) is championing for all rubber sheathed cables to be removed as soon as possible.

BASEC Chief executive Jeremy Hodge believes that the average householder gives electrical wiring too low a priority when it comes to home renovation and suggests that rubber sheathed cables should, at the next suitable opportunity, be replaced.  This is likely to be when the house is next sold or refurbished.

He has also extended his warning to social housing providers who are not obliged to carry out electrical maintenance when renovating property and often prioritise new kitchens and bathrooms over a rewire.

He said: "Rubber sheathed cables could become a major issue for social housing in the near future. It is astonishing that an electrical rewire is not a prerequisite during a renovation.

 "Although Government and professional advice has previously been to leave this kind of cabling if it appears in good order, we feel strongly enough to issue a warning that householders and tenants should not be exposed to these kinds of risks.

"We believe by tackling this issue we are helping to remove an increasing fire and safety hazard.  Cables are nowadays long-lived items but they are not something that can be fitted and forgotten.  These types of cable have seriously deteriorated over recent years and need replacing."

Rubber sheathed cables were first used before the Second World War and continued to be in favour until the 1960s.  They commonly have stranded cores with rubber insulation and sheathing.

Rubber cables degrade at their exposed ends, and the brittle sheathing and insulation may fall away when handled.  This happens particularly when replacement switches or sockets are installed or when wiring extensions are made. Loss of insulation allows contact between the conductors which can cause a fire or short circuit.

Last year, there were more than 40,000 incidents of house fires recorded in England alone.


For further press information contact:

Sally Neary, Acumen Public Relations.

Tel: 01704 834 772

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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