How third-party testing and certification improves quality and safety of cable products

Third party, independent testing and certification is becoming increasingly important as buyers and contractors alike continue to seek and establish distinct differences between one supplier and another. Apart from technical specifications, factors that can influence customer decision-making can include compliance, corporate and social responsibility, and most importantly, commercial advantages.

With new technology and infrastructure placing more pressure than before on electrical grids, cable quality is more critical than ever. Cable is essential to business operations and many daily activities, including powering building infrastructures with enough light and power supplies to run computers and operational equipment.

Understandably, in today’s fast-moving and developing world, cable manufacturers seek to distinguish themselves clearly from their competition. One effective solution lies in appointing BASEC to perform product testing and certification. In obtaining third-party verification, manufacturers can evidence that products are compliant, of a specific quality and safe to use.

Cable quality may be unwittingly taken for granted, which can have serious consequences, as faulty appliances and wiring are known to be the second most common cause of dangerous faults and fires. As cable is installed in our homes and workplaces, quality must be a key concern. Cable products that function and operate as they should, are crucial in the event of an emergency as they are central to ensuring that equipment continues to run as needed. Malfunctioning cable products could incapacitate those within the vicinity, impairing their senses, making evacuation difficult to undertake. The systems implemented to aid safety could also fail, causing already dangerous situations to worsen and increasing the levels of risk.

 | Figure 2 Cable Product Reels Ready For Installation

In choosing BASEC as your preferred third-party testing and certification partner, cable manufacturers can put measures in place to protect their business, their customers and the reputations of both parties. BASEC’s service offering ensures that cable products are tested to the most rigorous levels, in order that they meet and comply with recognised and required standards for both quality and safety. High levels of consistency and compliance are extremely important because cable products are everywhere; used in operations in many of the world’s toughest environments and in some of the most highly-regulated industries.

Quality cable goes a long way to minimising health and safety risks. If a fire were to ignite within a public facility or factory, this could cause costly damage and even the loss of life.

For example, if a fire were to break out in a hospital this would place patients and employees in immediate danger. Bringing this example specifically back to poor cable quality, if the cables on fire alarm systems themselves were of poor or incorrect quality, they may burn and become inoperable. This would compromise their functionality and in turn, prevent their primary function to occur, that is, to warn the building’s occupants of the fire risk. If, however, the wrong type of cable or material make-up had been installed, the cable could produce unsafe volumes of corrosive gases as it burns, placing patients at greater risk.

Should a small-scale fire occur, in contrast, cables that supply power to medical equipment could be damaged, meaning that medical services could be interrupted. The potential for these scenarios to occur can easily be avoided with the use of the correct application and quality of cable products required to achieve key performance characteristics.

BASEC’s cable product approvals include testing for electrical, mechanical, material, chemical and fire & smoke performance to British, European, international and a range of customer-specific or local standards. A BASEC certified product approval symbolises the depth to which that product has been tested and acts to provide buyers and contractors with complete peace of mind. The BASEC mark also represents that the product is fit-for-purpose, in that it is the product it says it is, and its compliance to the highest standards, including safety, will provide many years of reliable operation. It also reinforces the manufacturers’ commitment to producing high quality cable.

 | Trust In The Basec Mark

The BASEC mark provides proof that both the cable and the manufacturer have met the criteria of the world’s most stringent quality testing processes. As one of the most rigorous and demanding product certification authorities in the industry, BASEC regularly audits its approved manufacturers and selects and tests cable samples several times a year to ensure continued conformity.

Certification can also be obtained for manufacturers’ management systems including: ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environmental and ISO 45001 for health & safety.

Advantages of integrating these management systems include:

  • Integration of management systems with cable product approvals delivered via the BASEC Product Certification Requirement (PCR) demonstrated best practice
  • Improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness compared to operating separate systems
  • Reduced business disruption and time required for assessments, one audit for all
  • Efficiency improvements through reduction of unnecessary duplication of auditing, policies and procedures

In addition to assessing and certifying products and management systems, BASEC can also give cable manufacturers and industry personnel insight into compliant cable production requirements through a choice of Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and PCR training courses.

Overall, cable manufacturers gain multiple benefits from using BASEC’s third-party resources. For your own security, you can be sure, on sight of the BASEC approval mark, that products and management systems are fully compliant with all applicable standards, while BASEC’s training will establish your team’s ability to produce compliant cable products. Most importantly, manufacturers achieve a valuable competitive edge through certification and marking that unequivocally proves products’ compliance to the supply chain and end customer.