What is the Difference Between LSF and LSZH Cables?

Do you know the difference between LSF and LSZH cables? If not, you’re not alone. A lot of people don’t know the difference, but it’s an important distinction to make when shopping for cables. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between LSF and LSZH cables to help you out.

Both residential and commercial buildings alike require strong and detailed protections against a number of potential incidents, such as some natural disasters, flooding or water leaking, or fire. To prevent extensive damage and keep people’s lives safe, buildings’ structures come with types of equipment and materials that are produced for such purposes.

One potential event that can happen is a fire and, in case a fire happens in a building, there are a number of measures taken to protect people – and the use of Low-Smoke and Fume cables (LSF) or Low-Smoke Zero Halogen Cables are necessary. In this article, we will explain the purposes of both cables, as well as their difference.

Low-Smoke and Fume Cables (LSF Cable)

LSF cables are multicables made with resistant coating and modified PVC that produces less hydrogen chloride gas than regular PVC – although they still release about 20% of poisonous fumes when burned, depending on the manufacturer. They are a lower-cost option when compared to LSZH cables.

Low-Smoke and Fume cables are mainly used in applications that require no halogen acid gases to be released in case a fire breaks out. With less gas emitted, people seeking to leave the building safely are able to clearly visualize the exit signs available to them.

However, even with a low smoke emission, LSF cables still produce toxic gas and black smoke when they burn – and they can burn very fast. Therefore, it is advisable to not use them near electronic equipment, or where space for a fire escape is limited. It is best not to use them in public, areas or commercial buildings.

Low-Smoke Zero Halogen Cables (LSZH Cable)

LSZH cables – also known as Low-Smoke Halogen Free cables (LSHF) – are jacketing and insulation cables made of materials that emit low smoke in the event of a fire. They are mainly combined with non-combustible cables and can reduce the toxic elements in the event of a fire.

This indoor cabling system is commonly seen in underground tunnels and rails and used in public areas or areas that are poorly ventilated. Vehicles are a good example of applications that make use of LSZH cables – cars, ships, or aircraft – and they are also ideal for public buildings.

LSZH cables are a safer option compared to low-smoke fume cables since they emit fewer toxins and less smoke, allowing people to see more clearly – consequently, they are less harmful to the environment.

Also Read: What are the 4 types of network cables?

What is the Difference Between LSF and LSZH Cables?

Low-smoke and Fume cables and Low-Smoke Zero Halogen cables contradict in small details that make a big difference – their characteristics may not contrast much, however, the advantages of one type of cable over the other are clear.

These are the differences between LSF and LSZH cables, as pointed out: 

  • Low-smoke and Fume cables are more toxic and dangerous when burned in comparison to Low-smoke Zero Halogen cables
  • LSZH cables can be used in commercial buildings and public areas, whereas LSF cables are not recommended
  • LSF cables are, however, still being very much used due to their cost-efficiency

Low-smoke Zero Halogen cables are safer than Low-smoke and Fume cables, more widely used and, consequently, more costly as well – the differences between both types of cables lie in their safety and price.

The ultimate difference between both cables is in their safety capacity. Yes, Zero Halogen cables might cost more – however, it is important that the people responsible for buying and installing these cables understand that LSZH cables save more lives than low-smoke and fume cables do.

Want to Know More About LSF and LSZH Cables? Contact Tevelec Today

Tevelec is a leader in the cable and wiring industry. We provide clients with a variety of products and important information about any cable or wire they need – including LSF and LSZH cables.

Contact us at 905-624-5241 and our professional Tevelec team will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have about the different LSF and LSZH cables we offer.


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