BASEC News

BASEC warns be Vigilant for 2010 batches of Atlas Kablo Cable

14/07/10
In light of the recent warning to the UK electrical industry to be vigilant for 2010-made batches of 'Atlas Kablo' branded cable, Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive of the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) discusses the importance of taking all necessary precautions to check your cables are safe and what do to if you suspect you have been sold, or have installed non-compliant cable.

Last month BASEC advised the electrical sector to be vigilant for recent batches of Atlas Kablo branded cable which has been found to have insufficient copper, leading to excessive conductor resistance. Immediately the problem was brought to BASEC's attention by a vigilant distributor, and Atlas Kablo had its BASEC licence suspended due to the scale and severity of the problem.  The manufacturer was required by BASEC to investigate, to communicate with customers and to assist the market in locating and recovering affected product for scrapping. BASEC takes very seriously any issue raised with approved cables and will always take prompt action. A communication was sent to distributors, buying groups, wholesalers and contractors to ensure they checked and quarantined affected cable.  While action has been taken to stop the affected cable being sold, BASEC has requested that distributors and wholesalers inform their customers.

Cable from manufacturers holding a BASEC licence is regularly retested with a range of rigorous assessments to ensure ongoing conformity. Unfortunately, suspect cable products can often be found in the UK marketplace and historically these have not been subject to the same level of scrutiny or action. Now, however, organisations such as BASEC and the Approved Cables Initiative are active in responding to leads from installers and traders, testing cable, identifying sources, and providing warnings to the market.  Findings and any necessary warnings are communicated to the electrical sector directly, and through organisations such as NICEIC and ECA and the media.  The manufacturer and the companies involved in the supply chain will be approached with the findings. If necessary, regulators such as the HSE and Trading Standards will be informed. All public warnings and further advice can be found on the BASEC and Approved Cables Initiative websites www.basec.org.uk and www.aci.org.uk.

Electrical contractors, specifiers and electricians who purchase and install cable have a responsibility to ensure that the cable they specify meets British and/or European standards to ensure compliance with the Wiring Regulations. In some cases markings on the cable sheath can be misleading, or even make false claims of compliance with a particular standard. Always look for a manufacturer's mark that you recognise, which can be helpful in tracing a cable through the supply chain. For peace of mind, you should also insist on an independent third-party approved cable with either a BASEC, HAR or equivalent mark.  It is also important to specify on your order the British Standard (BS) number the cable must comply with.

Installers who are concerned that affected cable may have been used should ensure they check that the necessary electrical installation verification tests have been performed by a qualified and competent electrician.  Any performance concerns following these tests should be investigated to ensure circuits are safe or need protection enhancement or cables replaced.

We would advise that you keep records of all purchases, including reel ends with batch markings, receipts from distributors and sales records on your computer system. If you are unsure of the cable and have any scrap lengths, these can be sent to the BASEC for checking and testing.

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