A Complete Guide to Cable Management with Cable Covers

A Complete Guide to Cable Management with Cable Covers
21 May 2024 25 view(s) 10 min read
A Complete Guide to Cable Management with Cable Covers

Whether you're looking to keep your office tidier or need to reduce trip hazards, effective cable management can help you maintain an organised and hazard-free space. Cable covers conceal and protect cables for safety and certainly look better than seeing lots of cables trailing around the room.

Cable covers are designed to prevent trip hazards by keeping them neatly bundled together and out of harm's way. Keeping cables covered is essential in high-traffic areas where loose wires could cause people to trip and fall over.

In some cases, you have a legal obligation to ensure that loose cables and hoses are covered. This is particularly prevalent if you are the owner of an electric vehicle (EV) and regularly charge your car in a public area. As stated by The Highway Code, when charging an EV on a residential street or public area, you should take all precautions to cover and clearly identify the cable with a warning sign if possible. In addition to this, some insurance companies also stipulate that you should follow the correct steps to make sure the EV cable is fully covered and an appropriate EV cable protector has been used to provide a clear path for pedestrians.

Cable covers also contribute to the longevity of your cables by protecting them from physical damage, wear, and tear so there are lots of reasons why you should consider using them.

In this guide, you'll discover the types of cable covers available as well as how to choose the right cable cover for your needs plus, any other questions you might have.

What are cable covers and protectors?

Where are cable protectors used?

Types of cable covers

Are cable covers suitable for all types of cables?

How to install cable covers

What are the benefits of using cable covers?

Alternatives to cable covers and protectors

How to choose the right cable cover

Where to buy cable covers

Frequently asked questions 

What are cable covers and protectors?

Cable covers, also known as cable protectors, are a type of covering used to conceal wires, cables, pipes and ducts. They can be placed on the floor or they can be mounted onto the wall and they are designed to reduce the likelihood of trips and falls whilst also protecting the cables from damage caused by pedestrians and vehicles.

Where are cable protectors used?

Cable protectors can be used in most indoor and outdoor environments where cables are often found trailing across the floor. They are commonly used in areas such as:

  • Offices
  • Schools
  • Workshops
  • Warehouses
  • Factories
  • Construction sites
  • Residential streets

Types of cable covers

Outdoor Cable Protectors

Outdoor cable protectors are designed for outdoor use where they are likely to be exposed to harsh weather conditions and traffic. This type of cable protector is ideal for use along paths, or roads in busy environments.

These protectors are often constructed with waterproof materials such as rubber. They are designed to be walked on by pedestrians with non-slip material and textures to protect against accidental trips and slips. Products such as our Black and Yellow Flexible Cable Protector feature non-slip groves and a highly visible design for extra safety when used in public spaces.

Black and Yellow Flexible Cable Protector - Sold Per Metre

Our Black and Yellow Flexible Cable Protector is easy to install and it can be easily customised to fit any length.

Heavy-Duty Cable Protectors

Heavy-duty cable protectors are robust solutions designed to withstand the weight of heavy traffic. Constructed from durable materials such as rubber or polyurethane, heavy-duty cable protectors provide a reliable barrier against physical damage, ensuring the integrity of cables beneath.

They often feature multiple channels to accommodate several cables, and some variants are equipped with connectors allowing you to connect multiple protectors for added length.

These protectors are ideal for industrial settings, construction sites, and areas with frequent vehicular movement.

Our heavy-duty hose and cable cover is strong enough to provide protection against heavy machinery and HGVs, making it a practical solution for most spaces.

Heavy Duty Hose and Cable Cover - Sold Per Metre

Our Heavy Duty Cable Protector is ideal for use in areas where vehicles and machinery are in use.

EV Cable Protectors

An EV cable protector is one that has been specifically designed to work with a range of EV charging cables. These types of cable protectors are incredibly easy to install and can be placed on a variety of surfaces including concrete, footpaths, grass and gravel. This is important particularly if you are looking to charge your EV in a public area or residential street. The Highway Code states that you have a legal obligation to cover any exposed EV charging cables to avoid creating a trip hazard for pedestrians.

Our Heavy Duty Cable Protector features two channels which are wide enough to cover most EV charging cables as well as other cables and hosepipes. The yellow and black design also makes the cover highly visible even in low light conditions making it ideal for footpaths and driveways.

Heavy Duty Cable Protector – suitable for electric vehicle charging, hoses and pipes.

Our Heavy Duty Cable Protector is suitable for use with EV charging cables.

Cable Protector Ramps

Cable protector ramps typically feature a sturdy, low-profile ramp with channels or grooves where cables can be securely placed. Cable protector ramps are commonly used in settings such as construction sites, warehouses, and outdoor venues where temporary or permanent cable management solutions are needed to ensure both safety and efficient operations.

Our Industrial Hose and Cable Protector Ramp is a good example of this type of cable protector. It features two open-top channels which are deep enough to accommodate thick wires and hoses and can withstand most traffic including HGVs up to 20 tonnes.

Industrial Hose and Cable Protector Ramp Set Of 2

Our Industrial Hose and Cable Protector Ramp features two large channels which are quick and straightforward to install.

Wall mounted Cable Protectors

Wall-mounted cable protectors are designed to be fitted onto walls and they feature channels or slots where cables and pipes can be neatly inserted and held in place. These types of cable protectors can be made from plastic or rubber but there are more durable galvanised steel options such as our Wall Mounted Galvanised Cable Protector.

Wall-mounted cable protectors are commonly used in homes, offices, event spaces, and industrial settings to maintain a safe and tidy environment while efficiently managing electrical cables and pipes.

Wall Mounted Galvanised Pipe/Cable Protector

Our Wall Mounted Pipe and Cable Protector is available in two finishes including galvanised steel and powder-coated yellow with black stripes.

Are cable covers suitable for all types of cables?

Cable covers can be used to cover most types of cable, however, this is dependent on the width of the channel within the cable cover. For larger cables and multiple cables, you should opt for a cable cover with a wide channel such as our Industrial Hose and Cable Protector Ramp or one with multiple channels such as our Rubber Floor Cable Protector With 3 Channels.

It's important you choose a cable cover with the correctly sized channels to accommodate your wires and hoses.

How to install cable covers

Most floor cable covers require very little in terms of installation. You simply cut it open or remove the lid, place the wires inside and lay it down on the floor. Wall-mounted cable covers can be attached to the wall using the appropriate fixing bolts and wall plugs if required. The wires are then fed through the channel or placed in position before fixing the wall-mounted cover to the wall.

What are the benefits of using cable covers?

Safety: Cable covers help prevent tripping hazards by keeping wires out of the way. This is particularly important in high-traffic areas, events, offices, and homes where loose cables can pose a risk of accidents and injuries.

Organisation: Cable covers help maintain a neat and organized appearance by keeping cables bundled together. This is essential for both aesthetic reasons and to facilitate easy identification and access to specific cables when needed.

Durability: Cable covers are typically made from durable materials such as rubber or plastic, protecting cables from physical damage. This is particularly important in industrial settings or areas where heavy equipment or foot traffic could potentially harm exposed cables.

Prevention of cable damage: By encasing cables within covers, you protect them from wear and tear, prolonging their lifespan. This is crucial for expensive or mission-critical cables that need to function reliably over an extended period.

Compliance: In certain environments, the use of cable covers may be required to comply with safety regulations and standards. This is common in workplaces where safety is a priority, such as construction sites, factories, and event venues.

Ease of installation and removal: Cable covers are designed to be easily installed and removed. This facilitates the quick setup and dismantling of temporary cable installations, making them ideal for events, exhibitions, and other situations where cable configurations change frequently.

Professional appearance: Using cable covers gives a professional and polished look to cable setups. This is important in settings where aesthetics matter, such as trade shows, conferences, and offices.

Versatility: Cable covers come in various shapes and sizes, allowing for versatility in different settings. Whether you need a low-profile cover for office spaces or heavy-duty covers for industrial environments, there are options to suit diverse needs.

Alternatives to cable covers and protectors

Cable trunking

Cable trunking, also known as trunking, is designed to protect small wires and cables. Trunking is often installed on a wall or surface and it features a removable or hinged side which can be used to access the cables and wires. Cable trunking is not suitable for heavy-duty applications and is most commonly found in offices or homes for both aesthetic purposes and to protect and organise electric cables.

Cable management boxes and trays

Unlike cable trunking which is usually fixed to walls and surfaces, cable management boxes and trays are a type of cable organiser which sits on or under a work surface. These boxes are usually used to hide and store unsightly wires on a desk and are not suitable for long cables running across the length of a floor.

Cable tidy wraps

Cable tidy wraps, also known as cable wraps are another type of cable organisation solution used for basic cable management. Whilst cable wraps do provide some level of protection against damage and wear, they are not suited for fixing cables to the floor to prevent falls and trips. Instead, cable tidy wraps are most commonly used for electronics and IT equipment in offices and homes on desks and behind the equipment.

How to choose the right cable cover

When considering cable covers, it's important to determine the types of wiring you aim to protect and cover along with the quantity and thickness of cables for each cover. There are lots of cable covers available, all with varying channel sizes to accommodate different sizes of cables and hoses.

Secondly, you'll need to consider the location and anticipated level of traffic, whether it involves pedestrians, wheelchairs, trolleys or vehicles such as HGVs is crucial. Certain covers are only suitable for indoor use so if you intend to use the cable covers outside, you should ensure that the description explicitly states it is suitable for this.

Lastly, you will need to consider its installation. For example, if you are looking for a cable cover as a permanent solution, then a wall-mounted cable protector may be more suitable. Alternatively, floor cable covers can serve as a temporary solution which requires no drilling or bolting down and can be moved and stored according to your needs and requirements.

Where to buy cable covers

At Kingfisher Direct, we supply premium cable covers and protectors made from highly durable materials making them suitable for a variety of uses and applications. Whether you require temporary or permanent cable cover protection we stock a range of products for every need, providing peace of mind about organising and protecting your cables from foot and vehicular traffic.

If you have any specific requirements or need advice on our range of cable covers, please contact our team who will be available to answer any questions you may have about our products.

Frequently asked questions

Can cable covers be cut to size?

Cable covers made from rubber can easily be cut to size using a Stanley knife or saw. Alternatively, rigid cable covers such as our Heavy Duty Cable Protector allow you to connect multiple protectors to cover your required distance.

Can cable covers be painted?

Although some cable covers are made from materials that can be painted, it is generally not advised. Cable covers are designed to protect against heavy foot and vehicle traffic which will wear away any paint you apply. We offer a range of different styles and finishes depending on your requirements.

Are cable covers waterproof?

Cable covers made from rubber and plastic materials will provide some level of protection against liquids. However, due to the open channels which accommodate the wires, they do not offer full waterproof protection.

Are cable covers suitable for outdoor use?

Many cable covers are designed for outdoor use including those made from rubber, plastic and galvanised steel. These materials can withstand various weather conditions, providing resistance against rust, corrosion and fading.

Are cable covers fire-resistant?

Only cable covers listed as fire-resistant will be able to protect your cables from fire damage.

Are cable covers reusable?

Most cable covers are reusable and they are simple to install and can be easily stored away when not in use.

Are cable covers flexible?

Some cable covers, including those made from rubber, are flexible and can be laid on uneven ground. Sectional cable covers and protectors such as our Black and Yellow Flexible Cable Protector allow for certain degrees of adjustment on each section, meaning it can follow curves or groves in the ground.

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