February 2, 2023

Why fire safety should be at the top of your procurement check list

In this week's blog we look at fire safety and mission critical communications and why it is vital that procurement teams ensure they prepare for the worst at the point of installation

Axel Schroeder, Product Line Manager, In-Tunnel Solutions

When it comes to selecting communication equipment, the list of requirements is ever-growing as expectations for constant quality connectivity continue to increase. However, looking specifically at selecting mission critical communications equipment it is vital to put significant focus on ensuring the solution chosen will continue to work even if the worst happens. In this week’s blog we look at why fire safety has never been more important and how to deal practically with that need. 

Worst-case scenario 

Typically, most equipment will never come into contact with fire and extreme heat. Buildings are meeting strict safety guidelines and the result is that the chance of an accident that leads widespread fire is minimized. However, although it is minimized, it is not impossible and in that situation mission critical communication infrastructure is a lifeline to those needing to enter that dangerous environment and it unequivocally must work. For this reason, although the chances of fire are low, the need for fire safe equipment is incredibly high. The decisions made at procurement have a long-lasting effect looking through a worst-case scenario lens is vital, and key to ensuring the best outcome if the worst happens. 

The principles of fire safety

There are several universal principles when it comes to selecting equipment that will work in the event of a fire. Firstly, equipment must be able to withstand the temperatures associated with a fire. Emergency operations take time, and it is vital that communication networks continue to work for as long as possible. Beyond maintaining communication, the cable itself must remain safe in the event of the fire. This means any casing should not drip as it melts, causing possible harm to anyone in the surrounding area. 

In practice

Fire safety standards allow teams to make informed decisions when selecting products. The Construction Products Regulation, CPR, has been in effect since July 1st 2017. It provides a common safety standard for fixed cables in buildings of all kinds. The regulation makes it easier for product purchasers to compare different suppliers in different countries and to ensure that the products comply with the strict fire safety standards. At RFS we have led the way when it comes to developing cable with premium jackets to meet the most stringent requirements of CPR. 

Likewise, in the US our Dragonskin cable meets the strictest local fire safety standards and can continuously operate at temperatures up to 1850 °F (1010 °C) for 2 hours. By deploying these solutions, particularly for mission critical applications, procurement teams ensure they can deliver connectivity not only when there are no problems, but in the event of a fire where communication becomes more critical than ever. 


Fire-safe communication isn’t and shouldn’t be a day-to-day concern. Procurement, design and engineering teams can ensure it is addressed at the point of installation, meaning every environment that needs it, is prepared and no more needs to be done. By offering single solution fire-proof RF cable, the process of ensuring the fire safe communications becomes incredibly simple and something we are incredibly proud to offer here at RFS.