Introduction:

The awareness of fire as a hazard has been known for a long time. However, for several years, this phenomenon had been taken as a natural occurrence which is uncontrollable and it is one's fortune – good or bad that controls the damage. Since last decade and half, this status has changed though. Global awareness regarding Safety, Heath and Environment has been on the rise. Cable industry is making notable advances in products and standards in order to address the related issues. Halogen free cables are example of contribution by cable industry towards the global efforts.

Traditional cables PVC Insulation / Sheathing : Dangers and risks :

For several years, PVC has been the most widely used Insulation / Sheathing material for the most common types of cables. Because of it's good electrical + physical properties and easy availability, it has been a popular choice. Further, it has a degree of flame retardant properties rendered by presence of Chlorine, a member of Halogen family. However, PVC burns readily, and when it does, it gives out large amount of dense black smoke along with vast quantities of Hydrogen Chloride gas.

Thus, the damage caused by burning PVC is two-fold; Firstly, dense black smoke obscures exit routes. Just to give a broad idea, approximately 6/7 kgs of PVC will produce complete obscurity in a room of 1000 cubic meters by the time it is totally burnt.

Hydrogen Chloride is a very toxic and corrosive gas. When mixed with even small amounts of water, like the moisture found in lungs, eyes, and throats, it turns into acid. These chemical reactions can disorient and injure people who are trying to escape a blaze. Clearly, this creates a hazardous situation wherever an accidental fire occurs.

Further the acid gas permeates electronic equipments, causing random, unpredictable failures in computers, security/access control equipments, building management systems, lifts and just about anything else with electronic circuits. Hence, the fire may have been extinguished within minutes with no great risk to life, secondary damage that can be caused to instrumentation, equipments and building structure can be colossal.

All buildings and structures, large or small, are at risk from fire and so are the people who use them. In installations such as power stations, oil and chemical refineries, factories, hospitals, Public and government buildings, supermarkets, airports, control rooms and computer suites etc., kilometers of control, communication and power cables run the length of the structure, interconnecting many rooms and floors.

For ease of installation, the cables are usually collected together in groupings throughout the cable run. During any ensuing fire, the cables and the mode of installation are substantial contributing factors to the spread of that fire, as they traverse from one section to another, through walls and up vertical shafts, carrying smoke and fumes to areas which may not have been affected by the fire itself.

It is therefore of paramount importance that such cables should not propagate fire or give out acid gases or large amount of smoke and fumes.

Gulf Cable's Halogen Free cables precisely serve this purpose.