Electrical Contracting News (ECN) July 2017 - Page 30

FEATURE INGRESS PROTECTION LOST IN THE FLOOD Thankfully we appear to have escaped much of the flooding that blighted the country in the winter of 2015/16, but with the spectre of milder and wetter winters in the future, Tim Creedon, sales and marketing director for Flexicon, examines why much of the nation’s cable protection may not be able to cope. M ost specifiers believe that by looking up the Ingress Protection tables they can specify what they need to ensure protection against dust and water ingress. It is a case of buyer beware however, as there are some common misunderstandings. We have all seen the footage and images of flooded local communities, businesses and infrastructure that have remained immersed underwater for days. Sadly for those areas where there is a high risk of flooding, the cable protection may well be inadequate, whatever the IP specification used. The consequences of flooding are serious; it disrupts lives, businesses and often our ability to travel. The issue is that 30 | July 2017 even once the flooding has dissipated if the power and data cabling was inadequately protected then the disruption continues and the cost and time of simply getting things up and running adds significantly to the original problem. The rail industry seems to be ahead of other industries in recognising theses challenges. In its excellent report ‘Tomorrow’s Railway and Climate Change Adaption: Executive Report’, the Rail Safety and Standards Board predicts that the number of days where there is likely to be an ‘excess precipitation event’ in the UK will be more than double in the 2020s, compared to the recorded average for 1961-1990. The report states that this raises a number of challenges for infrastructure, including how to best protect its assets and also how to make them more resilient to reduce future maintenance costs after an extreme event such as flooding. The Rail Safety and Standards Board predicts that the number of days where there is likely to be an ‘excess precipitation event’ in the UK will be more than double in the 2020s, compared to the recorded average for 1961 – 1990.