Stay up to date on the latest in intelligent building solutions, infrastructure, and innovations from Paige Datacom Solutions.
  • Industry News
  • 07.29.2020

A Creative Solution to Warehouse MultiGigabit Wi-Fi


A Creative Solution to Warehouse Wi-Fi Connectivity


When installing a Multigigabit Wi-Fi system in a large facility like a warehouse, how can you run the Ethernet cabling long enough to provide proper connectivity and PoE to the Wireless Access Points (WAP), without additional IDFs, boosters or extenders? In this video, you will see how Creative Security Solutions of Piscataway, NJ simplified the design of this 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi deployment.

These days, wireless and mobile technologies like Wi-Fi 6 and 802.11ac Wave 2 have revolutionized how warehouse’s function. Their efficiency and productivity now often hinge on having a robust and reliable wireless infrastructure. The installation needs to satisfy the expectation, today and in the future - of multigigabit speed – without dead zones and constant disconnections of the multitude of wireless devices that keep a modern warehouse operation going strong. 

It remains a fact that the wireless Internet in a facility like a large warehouse depends on extended cable runs to provide the power and the connectivity to the network backbone. In situations like these, installers and end users have normally had to make compromises like:

  • allocating precious square footage for IDFs or MDFs (instead of warehouse rack space)
  • installing boosters/extenders up in the ceiling where servicing those devices requires renting a scissors lift (expensive, time consuming, etc.)

On this video, you will see how Creative Security Solutions very much lived up to its name and found a solution to this challenge – running cable an extended distance from “Point A to Point B” to implement Multi-Gig Wi-Fi across a massive warehouse space - with “no extra equipment” and “no extra costs.”

Hint: It is a GameChanger!

For more information on how the explosion in wireless technology and Wi-Fi is driving the future of network connectivity and infrastructure, be sure to read this previous blog post by Carol Oliver.

  • Technology News
  • 07.10.2020

Essential Cable Planning for Healthcare Facilities

When COVID-19 emerged, the entire country learned the true meaning of “essential work.”  “Healthcare” instantly rose to the top as the most essential business in the world.  Through this pandemic, it became essential that healthcare facilities have the right medical equipment for treatment, but also a robust communications system.  From real-time telemedicine, medical testing, extensive research and the ability to access universal medical records, the network infrastructure became the fundamental vehicle to transport the data faster and more efficiently than ever before, whether within the confines of one hospital or out to a multitude of facilities worldwide. As a result, the network has become the heartbeat of any healthcare facility. 

Healthcare networks are expanding exponentially to face the challenges of managing diverse information such as patient records and bandwidth intensive scans and virtual diagnostic information.  The amount of data that must be created, transmitted, managed and stored continues to increase dramatically.  In addition, the broad adoption of standards-based electronic health record (EHR) system, which was implemented over a decade ago, created a global health information exchange. The use of this technology for clinical decision support improves patient care and ultimately can lower healthcare costs by facilitating communication, coordination, and collaboration among healthcare providers.  

Many healthcare facilities have been re-evaluating their capability to deliver the technology needed in the healthcare environment today.  Many significant life-changing advancements in patient care, diagnostic and research are supported by both wired and wireless technologies attached to the network infrastructure, which are constantly evolving.

Addressing Healthcare Infrastructure Challenges

System designers, consultants and I.T. managers who have faced the challenges of incorporating all of the growing healthcare applications, attest that there are many differences compared to planning an enterprise network for an office facility.  These differences include a broader scope of applications which lead to increased outlet and device densities with their diverse termination locations, higher bandwidths and in more challenging installation environments.

To aid in the design and installation are two industry cabling standards, TIA-1179-A Healthcare Facility Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard, first published in 2010, revised in 2017; and ANSI/BICSI-004 Information Communication Technology Systems Design and Implementation Best Practices for Healthcare Institutions and Facilities, first published in 2012 and revised in 2018. The TIA standard addresses specific structured cable types for the backbone and horizontal, pathway and telecom room planning and recognizes the difference of outlet densities, depending on the different applications required for the specific facility areas (such as a waiting room versus and operating room). The BICSI standard builds upon the TIA document but hones in on providing guidance on the cabling layouts to address the diverse IP applications and system integration methods.  Some of these applications include clinical and non-clinical IP-based systems such as building automation systems, nurse and code calls, paging, wayfinding, emergency radio, medical imaging, patient monitoring, television and A/V, and security and safety.  

Each healthcare environment is unique and creates its own set of challenges and network priorities.  Some of the major infrastructure concerns when planning network expansion, as addressed in the standards, include:
Protected pathways – separating data cable from other services, such as gasses and liquids that may share the same above-ceiling spaces. In addition, pathways must be firestopped to eliminate the spread of fire as well as protect clean air within the facility.
Bandwidth and data storage – MRI files and other advanced medical imaging files, such as Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS), are bandwidth intensive.  In addition to transmitting these files, networks also need to provide long-range storage which can vary from as little as seven years up to a lifetime, will translate to constant additions of servers and SANs to these facilities.  
Telecom Rooms (TRs) – as more and more IP devices are being added to the network, telecom rooms must be sized by number of applications, not necessarily by the number of users or floor size that it is serving.
Outlet densities – the number of outlets and cables per area will also depend on the amount of applications needed to that workstation area. 

Unique Cabling Solution

Staying on top of the IP application boom in healthcare means revamping and updating the existing infrastructure to meet the application bandwidth demands and device densities.  This includes substantially increasing the cabling runs. In healthcare facilities, the TR should be dependent on the densities of applications on each floor and for each area, which may include custom designs and solutions. 

One of the biggest growth areas is employing wireless for more than just voice and text communications.  Mobile applications allow patients and medical professionals to access medical records and provide online diagnostics, but within the facilities, the healthcare professionals rely on wireless communications for patient monitoring systems (such as physical activity, heart rate and other biometric functions), patient tracking and wayfinding.  More wireless applications require more wiring to the access points or sensors that enable these applications.

The biggest challenges to deploy increased IP applications, includes adding more connectivity to the equipment in the TRs and within the horizontal pathways to service the devices. Many of the older hospitals are struggling to find room for additional TRs and cabling.  And a major roadblock of installing cable on premises are the regulations that apply to infection control requirements (ICR). ICR limits the time allowed for installers to be onsite, as well as requiring the proper equipment such as HEPA carts and protective gear.  

System designers are looking at unique cabling solutions that would limit the installation disturbance by increasing the run lengths from the TR.  One solution is the GameChanger Cable™ which can provide both data and power to many devices that are well beyond that 100-meter limit. Paige’s patented GameChanger cable, which is UL-verified, delivers 1Gb/s Ethernet and PoE+ up to 656 feet (200 meters) and 10Mb/s Ethernet and PoE+ up to 850 feet making it an ideal for cameras, WAPs and other edge devices. This cable eliminates intermediate IDF or telecom enclosure requirements and the need to install repeaters, power supplies and other equipment, which are costly and introduce additional points of failure in the network. 

To meet increasing demands placed upon them, modern healthcare institutions must retool and rebuild.  This includes looking at solutions that fit their environment. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” as each application’s requirement and the location of the device will generate opportunities for creative solutions, such as the GameChanger.

  • Press Releases
  • 06.15.2020

Paige Releases GameChanger™ Cable for Hazardous Locations, Extends Cable Reach in Locations Designated as Class I, Division 1

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ, June xx, 2020 – Paige DataCom Solutions, the developer of the GameChanger™ Cable, a cable designed to significantly exceed the reach of traditional category cable, announced a new version of the cable to support the special requirements of hazardous locations. These locations are defined in Article 500 of the National Electrical Code (NEC), where explosive or ignitable gases or vapors are present under normal operating conditions.

"This brings a new, important and much more affordable option to installations typically requiring very expensive solutions," said David Coleman, VP of business development for Paige. “For those applications classified as Hazardous, this really is a game changer. With the CI/D1 rating this armored cable allows installers to skip the expensive and time consuming installation of rigid pipeand with a reach that goes well over two times traditional cable, this can save a significant amount of time and money,"   Additionally, this version of GameChanger is ordered cut by the foot and can even be factory terminated, eliminating the potential need to purchase a standard cable length that is far lengthier than the installation requires.

Paige’s GameChanger cable delivers 1Gb/s Ethernet and PoE+ up to 656 feet (200 meters) and 10Mb/s Ethernet and PoE+ up to 850 feet making it an ideal pairing for explosion proof cameras, WAPs and other edge devices. This cable eliminates intermediate IDF requirements and the need to install repeaters, power supplies and other equipment, which are costly and introduce additional points of failure.

This new GameChanger cable for Hazardous locations can support a broad range of industrial applications, including petroleum refineries, aircraft hangers with fuel servicing, gasoline storage and dispensing areas, paint shops and facilities, utility gas plants, chemical plants, and alcohol/cannabis production facilities.

An independent performance evaluation completed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) evaluated GameChanger cable technology and verified that it delivers 1 Gbps performance and PoE+ over 200 meters. GameChanger cable is also supported by the field performance testing solutions of leading vendors, including AEM, Fluke, Ideal, Netscout, Softing and Viavi.


For more information on GameChanger cable from Paige DataCom Solutions, visit


About Paige 

Paige, formerly known as Paige Electric, boasts over 10,000 customers from 10 offices across the globe. Paige manufactures and distributes a diversified set of electrical wire & wireless products, connectorized cable and accessories to the Asset Protection, Datacom, Illuminated Sign, Industrial OEM, Irrigation, Landscape Lighting, Precision Agriculture, and Submersible Pump markets. Paige is employee-owned, from factory worker to CEO, and has more than 200 employees. Visit Paige at

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  • Industry News
  • 05.28.2020

Strange Bedfellows: Low-voltage and Electrical Contractors

Ever since the dawn of IP cameras being attached to the data network, combined with the capability to add power over the same infrastructure through Power over Ethernet (PoE), the role of the low-voltage contractor has changed.  And, as more and more previously disparate building systems, including A/V, lighting, HVAC controls and fire safety, are now integrating through the IP network infrastructure, their responsibilities have expanded to include system designer, integrator, installer and application troubleshooter. 

Converged systems create intelligent buildings, which result in lower capital and operating expenses while providing a more reliable and cost-effective management system for all the integrated systems. As the applications merge, so do the professional resources.   Integrating intelligent building systems work best when there is a collaboration between all services – architects, building owners, facilities, IT contractors, designers and installers. This shift brings to light the importance for electrical contractors to understand the impact on their business and the value to partner with low-voltage installers.

Old World vs. New World

We think of electricity as being around much longer than low-voltage telecommunications cabling, but their paths have run in parallel. Electricity is thought as coming into existence with Thomas Edison’s discovery of the light bulb in 1879, but two years earlier, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.  Around the same time, an unknown Connecticut mill worker, Thomas Doolittle, devised a way to make the first hard-drawn copper wire strong enough for use by the telegraphy industry, in place of iron wire. In 1881, Lucien Gaulard of France and John Gibbs of England arranged the first successful alternating-current electrical demonstration in London. 

It took another 100 years for the first unshielded twisted pair (Category 1) to be manufactured.  It consisted of two insulated copper wires twisted around each other to eliminate crosstalk and used for telephone wire.  Category 3 in the early 1990s was the first of the four-pair twisted pair cable with simultaneous transmission with a data rate of 10 Mb/s.  Category cables evolved (up to today’s Category 8)  to meet demanding high-bandwidth applications and increasing data speeds.  

Electricians banded together early as organized unions to protect the workforce. In 1891 IBEW was formed and 10 years later, NECA emerged.  IEC (Independent Electrotechnical Commission) was formed in 1904 to secure the cooperation of technical societies to consider the standardization and ratings of electrical machinery.  This is not to be confused with Independent Electrical Contractors (also IEC), founded in 1957 with a goal to promote activities that enable the electrical industry to be conducted with the greatest economy and efficiency. IEC works closely with the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) to develop the NEC and reviews standards created by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL).  For electrical wiring, it’s understood that the National Electrical Code (NEC) is the basis for licensing of electricians.  And the NEC code is enforceable by law because it is written for safety – people and equipment. 

Because low voltage includes low-wattage power, which is defined not to exceed 90W, the installers observe a different set of rules.  Collectively cabling standards, which are best practices, are created by many associations to assure that errorless data is transmitted, and low-voltage cabling does not incur signal interruption or excessive voltage drop.  

Low-voltage cabling standard bodies include IEEE, ANSI, EIA, TIA and BICSI – each with a different function. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards) provides documents that established technical criteria for electrical and transmission performance.  EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance), formed in 1957, was an American trade organization for electronics’ manufacturers that developed standards to ensure the equipment between them was compatible and interchangeable. They merged with TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), which consisted of 60 contributing organizations including manufacturers, end users and consultants. In 1991 the first published standard, TIA/EIA-568, defined structured cabling system for commercial buildings and between buildings in campus environments. Since then, several revisions have been created to keep up with cabling types, performance characteristics, cable installation requirements and methods of testing the installed cable.  Today, EIA no longer exists, and these standards are updated under TIA’s working group, TR-42.  BICSI standards are also written by manufactures, end users and consultants to provide guidelines for the design and installation of cabling systems by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals. BICSI standards are focused on all manners of industry verticals such as healthcare, data centers and intelligent buildings.  ANSI (American National Standard Institute) provides a framework for standards’ development and quality conformity assessment systems for many different industries. Both TIA and BICSI standards are accredited by ANSI.

With the merging of data and power over IP cabling for building systems, a merger of professions and cooperation between low-voltage and electricians need to take place as each bring benefits to the reliability of the systems. Unlike licensed electricians who follow the written codes under NEC, low-voltage licensing varies from state to state and can even be different within states from county to county and city to city. Each contractor must check the state and the specific locality where projects are being designed and installed.   

Handle with Care

Besides the physical differences of electrical and low-voltage cabling, there are some major differences between installation means and methods.  One of the biggest differences between structured cabling and electrical wiring is the fragility of twisted-pair copper and fiber optic cabling.  It’s easy to destroy or degrade the performance of the cable if they are not handled right or follow best installation practices.  Some of these include the maximum pull tension, bending the cable too tightly (fiber will break), and kinking the cable.  Poor installation practices can result in the data and power not being transmitted and ultimately system failure.

Also, there is much caution to be taken for over bundling the cable in pathways, especially when both data and PoE are running through the same cable as higher wattage (heat) can degrade the performance, especially with smaller cable gauge sizes. Best installation practices for pathways include adhering to fill ratios for the different pathway and cable types.  

Distance is also an important factor since standards recommend not to exceed 100 meters for copper cabling but are exceptions (check the manufacturers’ specification sheets for installation and operating temperatures and check out our GameChanger™ that exceeds performance and distances for Category 6) 

There are also rules of separation between telecommunications and electrical cables as higher voltage on electrical cables can create unwanted signal interference that affect data cables.  Lastly, when terminating a four-pair cable, an untrained technician does not know that the different color scheme of the insulation over the copper conductors must match the scheme on the connector.  An improperly terminated cable will fail a wiremap test which also attributes to system failures.

The Main Squeeze

There are degrees of competency between professions.  As disciplines continue to converge, electrical contractors with structured cabling installation experience and education will have a strong edge over their competitors without low-voltage knowledge. With the intelligent building evolution, electrical contractors can benefit themselves and their customers by getting an education in ICT and partnering with low-voltage contractors.  Proper training and accreditations are available through trade associations, such as BICSI, and training from manufacturers, who can provide specific system warranties.

The ICT profession has grown from cabling system design and installation to encompass project management, system testing and commissioning.  Since technology is constantly evolving, savvy low-voltage contractors keep ahead of their competition by consistently taking courses to gain new insight and to expand their offerings.  Low-voltage contractors realize the importance of staying relevant, and in doing so find the proper training and certification programs available to them. Available resources in the market include hands-on design and installation classes, certification training, technical conferences, virtual training and webinars.  

For electrical contractors to get into the low-voltage trade means a fundamental mind shift to become more of a customer service company, spending more time with the client and learning the technology. As the degree of separation closes in, future opportunities are for the taking for both electrical and low-voltage contractors who cannot become complacent over old world technology and do take advantage of cutting-edge training and education outside of their niche.  

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  • Industry News
  • 04.29.2020

The Sign of the Times: A Wireless Explosion

With the entire world currently under “stay at home” orders, everyone who is classified with “non-essential” jobs are now working from their homes or not working at all. In doing so, everyone is realizing the importance of the “4th Utility” — the Internet. Just like flipping on a light switch or turning a faucet on for water, network connectivity is an expected deliverable. 

Can you imagine if this pandemic occurred 20 years ago when high-speed Ethernet communication was not established? The paradox of online communication has just been ratcheted up. Internet — both wired and wireless networks — are coming under immense pressure to deliver reliable connectivity as schools and businesses have shifted their day-to-day operations out of the workplace and into homes. Think of the media rich and mission critical applications, which have become part of everyone’s daily routine – video conferencing, streaming videos, online learning, news reports, telemedicine, shopping online, to name a few.

Infrastructure is an essential element in all our lives as it is everyone’s link to the world. While the nation may be on the cusp of slowly re-opening, the cable contractors and suppliers are answering the demand for the installation of more network connections, for both commercial and private use. 

Challenges and Solutions for Wi-Fi

Technology evolution waits for no one. As we are sitting on the edge of 5G, which will double the speed of 4G, and the next generation of Wi-Fi standards, wireless devices have become critical lifelines. Once students go back to school and businesses reopen, the public will be demanding more connections in every space and in every environment. With the evolution of higher speeds and bandwidths, network system designers are facing a big challenge to deliver this technology over the existing Category 5e/6/6A copper infrastructure.

Here are some trends and challenges in wireless technology identified by the Dell’Oro Group Ethernet Switch study:

  • Wi-Fi has exceeded the capacity and data rates of wired networks.
  • There is an estimated 6x growth in mobile data traffic (2017-2022).
  • More than 5.6 billion 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T switch ports have shipped in the last 20 years with another 2.4 billion ports expected by 2022

The Ethernet Alliance, which consists of more than 45 manufacturers and suppliers has banded together to enable widespread deployment, evolve specifications and facilitate interoperability for 2.5G/5G BASE-T and beyond. WiFi-6 (IEEE 802.11 ax) will require upwards of 10 Gb/s speeds creating a Gigabit bottleneck in the infrastructure from the switch to the device.

*Image Source: Cisco

While the switch manufacturers are developing active equipment to provide both power (Power over Ethernet) and multi-gigabit technology over all four pairs at higher speeds, contractors are faced with providing connectivity and pathways out to these devices. Providing connectivity to many locations past the standards’ based 100-meter rule can be a daunting design nightmare because many wireless devices are located in remote areas -- across campuses, parking lots, warehouses, airports and sports arenas. 

So how are we seeing installers deliver the most cost effective Multigigabit WiFi? The answer is simple. It’s called “lengthonomics” – extending the cable distances without having to install additional telecom rooms or intermediate enclosures, which are cost-prohibitive and not physically feasible. The patented GameChanger Cable™ is the solution as it can more than double the distance of standard category cables (shielded, unshielded or outside plant) up to 260 meters (850 feet) for a fraction of the cost without requiring additional connectivity. The GameChanger cable supports all four types of PoE – from Type 1 which provides 15W from the powered source equipment (PSE) over two pairs all the way up to Type 4, which provides 90W from PSE through all four pairs.

How is this achieved? The GameChanger outperforms typical category cables due to increased gauge size (22 AWG), carefully designed twisting and incorporating specialty materials optimized for long-distance Ethernet applications from the switch to the device. So even when the switch is upgraded, the GameChanger meets evolving technologies.

With increasing multi-gigabit data rates, the newest wireless industry standards recognize that two cables should be pulled to each WAP to provide enough data and power (PoE). By installing two GameChanger cables, not only do they support higher bandwidths and further distances but also address future densities and additional applications. Having the cable in place in the ceiling makes future connections fast and easy. And, GameChanger pulls and terminates just like any other category cable. 

Planning is the most important aspect of the infrastructure for every real estate. Too often, many criteria for future-proofing the network is minimized due to lack of foresight. The three essential pillars of planning the infrastructure includes: 1) install as much conduit for future provisioning to be able to add robust connectivity 2) factor in as much cabling as needed for current and future applications, and 3) always make sure there is enough power in the telecom room for future active equipment changes to be able to push the signal as far as possible to the devices. Wireless pathways are underestimated in the design phase but GameChanger makes it easy to add cable runs while satisfying both data and power requirements now and in the future.

  • Industry News
  • 04.08.2020

Rethinking Outdoor Asset Protection During COVID-19

Across the country, many stores are left vacant while others have customers queued up in parking lots. This new normal has many commercial security and loss prevention managers taking a fresh look at their priorities and how the security of their premises is being impacted during this unprecedented time.  

As people hunker down at home because of coronavirus, early statistics show residential burglaries declining. On the flip side, there is evidence that burglaries of businesses and commercial locations are increasing. In New York City, statistics show that business burglaries increased 75% after businesses closed or limited operations because of COVID-19. Unfortunately, that’s a pattern that appears to be repeating across the country. 

It’s not entirely surprising that businesses and retailers usually bustling with activity and now standing empty and dark for weeks would loom as potential targets. Unfortunately, at a time when law enforcement and nearly everyone is distracted, there are criminals who will attempt to take advantage of it.

Outdoor Asset Protection

When a business is shut down and with drastically reduced traffic, the area outside the premises - from the door to the very edge of the property is likely now more vulnerable to intruders. This is the area designated by the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) as Zone 4.

Paige’s Bucksaver is an asset protection solution for LPRC Zone 4, as it enables an existing security system within a business to extend its reach beyond the building. It has proven to be a reliable, user-friendly and flexible method of securing outdoor assets.

The Bucksaver system is comprised of heavy-duty, weatherproof cables that loop through merchandise stored outdoors and it can also be used to help secure storage containers, loading docks and roof access ladders.  

Bucksaver cables come in 15-foot lengths to make merchandise easily accessible, and you can daisy chain segments to create a protection loop of up to 3,000 feet. If the loop is opened or disconnected, the security system triggers a notification or an alarm condition, depending on how the security system is programmed.  

Bucksaver is also available as a wireless system, easily moving with your inventory/assets and lowering installation costs. The wireless Bucksaver can protect up to 32 loops of inventory per wireless receiver. The wireless receiver is powered by Inovonics and simply hardwired to an existing burglar alarm control panel.

Protecting Gates 

Another Paige solution for Zone 4 helps to secure a business’ perimeter, or its high security areas outdoors. The Paige Gate System extends the reach of an existing monitored security system to protect outdoor gates. This hassle-free way to secure gates reliably detects unauthorized access, without the risk of nuisance false alarms, caused for example, by the regular movement of a gate in the wind.

Adapting During Times of Crisis

Our Custom Asset Protection solutions are as simple as they are flexible. In times of crisis it's more important than ever to be able to seek out new tools and/or apply them in new and creative ways. Consider how you may need to rapidly deploy Wireless Bucksavers to protect the CONEX containers housing inventory in parking lots, or even how to use the Gate System to protect trailers backed up to loading docks. If you can imagine it, we can help you make it a reality. To get started, click chat button on the bottom right corner of your screen. We're here to help!

  • Industry News
  • 02.21.2020

Gaining CPR: How a cable spec survives global adoption

Paige’s patented GameChanger Cable™,  the first four-pair datacom cable to perform beyond the 100-meter channel distance for Ethernet data and power (PoE) was recently launched in the United Kingdom and Europe.  To gain acceptance, this cable went through rigorous testing to earn the CE “Conformitè Europëenne” mark, which is a European marking of conformity that indicates that a product complies with the requirements of the applicable European laws. The CE label is legally required to appear on many types of products sold in specific European countries to show that they meet European health, safety and environmental standards.


Where cabling that is permanently installed in the building is concerned, the CE mark means that that a product meets the safety standards specified by the European Union Directive 305/2011 Construction Products Regulation, known as CPR.  CPR was announced in the Official Journal of the European Union in 2015, which then became mandatory for cables on July, 2017.  CPR provides unified requirements for reaction to fire for power, control, communications, and optical fiber cables intended for installations in all types of construction works in all EU member states.

UL vs. CE vs. CPR

UL Listed means the product meets the standards of Underwriters Laboratories, a private safety testing organization. There are some key differences between a UL Listing and a CE Mark.  One of the biggest differences is that the UL Listing must be performed by a 3rd-party lab with approved flame and smoke tests.  Another, and probably most importantly, is that cable products used in U.S. construction may not necessarily be required by law to be UL Listed, even though most contractors choose to use UL Listed products in order to avoid potential liability issues, whereas the CE Mark is mandatory by law.

A product that is already UL Listed in the U.S. doesn’t automatically qualify for the CE Mark. If a UL Listed product has also been tested to the European harmonized standards, then it may be eligible for CE certification; however, it still must receive a CE Mark and have a Declaration of Performance certificate available before it can be used in Europe.  And on the flipside, products that carry the CE Mark are not automatically considered to be UL Listed. Some product types with the CE Mark do not have to be third-party certified and are not necessarily compliant with U.S. standards.

The CPR requires the construction products, such as cables, to be assessed against a harmonized standard or have a European Technical Assessment (ETA) before the declaration can be issued and the CE marking affixed. If there are no applicable harmonized standards and the manufacturer has not requested an ETA, then the product cannot be CE marked under the CPR and as a result, cannot be sold or installed in the EU.

Steps to obtaining the CE Mark to comply to the CPR includes: identifying the applicable harmonized European standard (hEN), review the essential characteristics (which can vary depending on the specific products), undertake initial type testing and factor production controls (which might require the involvement of a Notified Body) and finally complete a Declaration of Performance and affix the CE Marking.

One critical thing to remember for both UL Listings and CE Marks is that compliancy can differ from city to city or country to country so it is key to work with the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)

Cracking the code

The GameChanger product certified for the EU to the CPR is coded to the standard “Cca-s1a, d0, a1” So, what does that coding mean?

CPR defines several classes that indicate the impact of cables on the spread of fire, using a series of parameters obtained from the corresponding tests. Refering to Table 1, cables are classified by seven performance classes, running from Aca to Fca, with Aca being the least reactive to fire.  Additional subclasses call out for smoke production, flaming droplets and acidity for cable classes B1ca, B2ca, Cca and Dca, as well as a more stringent, larger scale test using bundled cable.


Smoke production is rated on a sliding scale from s1a to s3, where s1 is the most demanding classification and s3 is for products where no performance is declared or which do not comply with the requirements of s1 or s2.

Flaming droplets during combustion is similarly rated from d0 to d2, where d0 is the most demanding and d2 is for products where no performance is declared or which do not comply with the requirements of d0 or d1.

Acidity is also rated on sliding scale from a1 to a3, where a1 is the most demanding criteria and a3 is for products where no performance is declared or which do not comply with the requirements of a1 or a2.

Table 1 CPR Classifications



Reaction to Fire

Additional Criteria


EN50399 20kW burner

IEC 60332 1kW flame

No reaction

s = smoke emission


d = flaming droplets


a = acidity


EN50399 20kW burner

IEC 60332 1kW flame

Very little reaction

Heat release + flame spread


EN50399 20kW burner

IEC 60332 1kW flame

Little reaction

Heat release + less flame spread than Cca


EN50399 20kW burner

IEC 60332 1kW flame

Reduced reaction

Heat release + flame spread


EN50399 20kW burner

IEC 60332 1kW flame

Improved reaction

Heat release criteria


IEC 60332 1kW flame

Basic reaction

Flame spread criteria



IEC 60332 1kW flame


Fails class Eca test criteria



So, let’s break it down for GameChanger’s CE Mark: Cca-s1a,d0,a1. The “Cca” rating meets a reduced flame and fire reaction as well as heat release.  The “s1a” relates to the meeting the most demanding smoke protection. Regarding flame droplets, noted as “d0” for the GameChanger relates to the most demanding droplet reduction.  And finally, “a1” for acidity also comes under the most demanding criteria.  In short, GameChanger cable meets the highest performing CPR rating to earn its premier CE Mark.

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