Have you always wondered what is the difference between FR and FRLSH Wires? If yes, then you are not alone. For those of you unfamiliar with these acronyms, FR stands for fire retardant and FRLSH stands for flame retardant, low smoke and low halogen.
Let’s examine these two types of wires, how they differ, and learn how to make an informed decision about which wires and cables work best for you.
Many people who live or work in buildings or apartments with electrical wiring are regularly exposed to the risk of fire. Not only must the building comply with safety regulations, but so must the necessary components of a building, including wires and cables that carry power to all outlets, switches, lights, and devices in the building.
Tragedy can happen at any time, a sudden spark can turn into a widespread fire. However, this is not the case with wires FR and FRLSH. They are well insulated with specially formulated PVC compounds with additional fire retardant properties, high oxygen and temperature indices that limit the spread of fire. These safety features make these wires best suited for emergency lighting, air conditioning and control room areas where fire safety is imperative.
In an accidental fire, ordinary PVC wire emits thick, black, toxic gases. These gases also reduce visibility and hamper rescue operations. On the contrary, FRLSH Wire slows the spread of fire while releasing as little smoke as possible.
Smoke, heat and fire are the enemies of every structure. However, simply withstanding a fire does not ensure the safety of the structure or its occupants.
Other factors like smoke, fumes and toxic gases are usually present in an event of fire which can be extremely harmful to people and material. Flame Retardant, Low Smoke Low Halogen (FRLS) wires are designed for use in fire hazard areas where such hazardous situations exist. FRLSH Wires pass visually based flammability tests by producing very little visible smoke, hence their name.
This makes FRLSH Wires an ideal choice for wiring in multi-storey buildings such as hotels, shopping malls, banks, hospitals and other commercial complexes.
Today, fire retardant low smoke and low halogen (FRLSH) – aka halogen free wires are gaining popularity over their predecessors the flame retardant low smoke (FRLS) and Fire Retardant (FR)
In general, the main difference between fire retardant and flame retardant, low smoke and halogen wires is that the former are mainly designed for fire safety while the latter are designed for fire safety and reducing mortality from smoke.