BASEC's Ten Top Cables


As featured in Sparks Magazine July 09

When you're specifying cable you need to know what to use in different situations. What's best for use in partitions and what should you use with fire alarms?

British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) is a recognised leader in product certification services for electrical cables. It's known for its professional stamp of quality in the field of cable certification. Here BASEC chief executive Dr Jeremy Hodge gives you his 'top ten' of commonly used cables, split equally between building wiring and flexible cables and armoured category and special cables.

Building wiring and flexible cables

1.         BS 6004

This is the main standard for PVC wire and cable commonly used in final circuits in buildings. There are 11 separate construction types set out in Tables, including the familiar 'flat twin and earth' 'meter tails', 'conduit wire' and other types.

2.         BS 7211

This standard offers Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF) versions of many of the types of wire and cable found in BS 6004. There are nine separate construction types set out in Tables.

3.         BS 6231

This is the primary British standard for single core instrument wire and includes the higher temperature rated type known commercially as 'tri-rated'. This means it can simultaneously comply with the British, American (UL) and Canadian (CSA) standards.

4.         BS 6500

This is the main British Standard for flexible cables. It incorporates a number of construction types of various materials, many of which are harmonised with European standards and are within the HAR scheme.

5.         BS 8436

This is installation cable for use in final circuits, with an integral earthed screen and LSHF sheath. It is intended for use at shallow depths in partitions and related applications. It is nail penetration tested in conjunction with an RCD to meet Wiring Regulations requirements.

Armoured and special cables

6.         BS 5467

These are armoured power cables with XLPE or EPR insulation and PVC sheathing. They are used in many construction, commercial and industrial applications.  Two, three, four, five and multi-core versions are available.

7.         BS 6724

There are armoured power cables with XLPE or EPR insulation and LSHF sheathing, commonly used where public access is a factor.  Two, three, four, five and multi-core versions are available.

8.         BS 7846

These are fire resisting armoured power cables with XLPE or EPR insulation and LSHF sheathing and enhanced circuit integrity properties. Two, three, four, and five core versions are available.

9.         BS 7629-1

Commonly used with fire alarm systems to BS 5839-1 and emergency lighting systems to BS 5266-1, this is a widely used type of 'soft skin', fire resistant screened cables. They have low emission of smoke and corrosive gases when affected by fire.

10.       BS EN 60702-1 (IEC 60702-1)

Often used in emergency systems, this is an internationally harmonised standard for mineral insulated cables. They have high fire resistance and properties designed to survive fires.

Further information about BASEC and advice on faulty cables is available at or you can contact BASEC directly on 01908 267300

Go back