Schneider Electric has released a new range of products to help installers comply with the changes brought about by the latest edition of the IET Wiring Regulations.
The 18th Edition came into force on 1st January 2019 and brings with it many alterations to wiring safety and practices. New regulations highlight an increased need for surge protection devices and an expansion in the use of fire-resistant supports.
The installation of surge protection devices is now required in electrical installations in many types of premises. Previous editions of the Wiring Regulations have underlined the risks of transient overvoltages caused by lightning. In the UK, there is still a reasonable level of risk caused by lightning, but the regulations now recognise that the applications most typically impacted by electrical surges are those located near sites with large switching loads, such as wind farms and industrial applications.
Further regulations stipulate that a risk assessment should be performed if it is felt that surge protection doesn’t need to be installed. The risk assessment process involves a calculated risk level (CRL) formula, which involves needing to know the lengths of the low and high-voltage underground cables, which can be difficult information to obtain.
However, surge protection devices can be justified in many residential applications because the combined cost of equipment at risk will far outweigh the cost of additional protection, when considering the electronic equipment installed around the home.
Wiring systems are also now required to be supported such that they will not prematurely collapse in the event of a fire. Previous editions of the Wiring Regulations called for fire-resistant supports to be used in exit routes, but the 18th Edition has now expanded on this requirement. An adequate number of fire-resistant supports should now be installed throughout the installation.
Schneider Electric has introduced an end-to-end solution for the 18th Edition. It has launched new surge protection products into the Easy9 range, and a new offering of fire-resistant metal supports, designed for use in trunking, conduit and cabling system, as well as for attaching to building wall surfaces.
The fire-resistant supports include metallic twin and earth cable clips, stainless steel conduit saddles and fire safety clips, and a stainless-steel cable retention band and anchor to secure cables within compartment trunking, ladders and baskets. A new trade tub is available offering a mix of traditional plastic cable clips with the new metal variants, to support electricians with a cost-effective solution when installing an adequate number of fire-resistant supports in any installation.
The Easy9 range offers surge protection as a standalone device, in a pre-populated consumer unit format and with additional components as a kit, to enable existing Easy9 installations to easily be upgraded.
“The 18th Edition provides both challenges and opportunities for installers,” said Jocelyn Golding at Schneider Electric. "While the number of new requirements can be overwhelming, we’re confident our new products will support our customers and partners with full compliance. Our systems and supports guarantee their circuits will be safe and secure, giving them some much-needed peace of mind."