Fire Safety Legislation News

Latest Regulation Tackles ‘Cable Entanglement’ deaths

Latest Regulation Tackles ‘Cable Entanglement’ deaths

A new regulation is to be brought in, to tackle fatalities caused by cable entanglement. Over the past 10 years, firefighters have lost their lives during service, with cable entanglement being said to have played a part in their deaths.

The most recent case – the deaths of two firefighters in the Shirley Towers blaze, was said to have been contributed by fallen cables trapping Jim Shears and Alan Bannon, as the supports originally holding the cables in place had melted in the heat. The Coroner’s Rule 43, relating to the Shirley Towers incident highlights how “all FRSs should consider the implementation of measures to reduce the risks associated with fallen cables”.

The new addition to the Wiring Regulations 7671 has been published as a result of lobbying from both UK Fire & Rescue Services and the charity Electrical Safety First. As of January 1st 2015, new wiring systems are required to use metal support rather than plastic. This will prevent the systems from melting prematurely, thus causing escape routes to be unnecessarily blocked. This addition to the regulation will apply only to cables within escape routes that are fixed to walls or ceilings.

Fallen cables were also highlighted as a factor in the deaths of firefighters Michael Millar and Jeff Wornham in February 2005.

It is hoped that the addition to Wiring Regulations 7671 will prevent tragedies such as the one in Shirley Towers, from happening again. 

Published January 2015