According to the Nonresidential Building Report by FEMA, between the years 2014 and 2016, an estimated 100,300 commercial fires were reported to US fire departments each year. For each year, these commercial fires caused an estimated 90 deaths, 1,350 injuries, and $2.4 billion in property losses. Eight percent of these commercial fires were caused by electrical malfunctions—that is roughly 8,000 electrical fires.
An electrical fire is one that starts due to an electrical failure or malfunction. While these incidents generate flames and heat like any other fire, it’s important to know you can’t use water to put out these flames. Using water while the power is still on can cause you to be electrocuted. And even when the power is off, water may damage the wiring, electronics, or machinery that was the source of the fire.
The manufacturing industry relies on computer numerical control (CNC) machines. CNC machinery achieves a level of consistent, improved efficiency and accuracy that manual processes are unable to match through pre-programmed computer software. The software directs the movements of factory machinery and tools.
Fire safety should be a top priority for all wind farm operators. The industry’s journey towards truly comprehensive protection against fire shouldn’t begin at the finish line, leaving firefighters and staff to deal with the consequences when fires break out. Our latest report, “How to Evaluate Fire Risk,” shows why performing an effective fire risk assessment (FRA) is crucial, and how to best execute it.
Whether it occurs in the workplace, home, or elsewhere, it is difficult to overstate the unique and serious dangers fire poses to people, assets, equipment, and physical structures. A burning fire is a fascinating chemical chain reaction, and extinguishing a fire is a matter of disrupting that chain reaction. The better you understand how a fire starts—including the basic science of what components are required for it to ignite and burn—you’ll be better prepared when you need to extinguish a fire.
The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2020. The main goal of the AIM Act is to phasedown the usage of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in various industries to combat the environmental impacts of HFCs and pave the way for new innovations. Since there is so much discussed in this new law, we have compiled a brief AIM act summary to give you a better understanding of why the AIM Act was created, what is included in the AIM Act, and how these new regulations affect the fire suppression industry.
Wind turbines have seen a steady increase in size since the early 2000s, with both the height of the tower and the length of the blades growing to generate more energy. Wind turbines are typically measured by their “hub height,” which refers to the distance from the ground to the middle of the turbine’s rotor. The average hub height for utility-scale, land-based turbines increased by 59% between 1998 and 2020 – bringing it to 90 meters (295 feet), roughly the same size as the Statue of Liberty. The hub height of offshore turbines is projected to increase even further. In 2016, they had an average hub height of 100 meters (330 feet) and are set to increase to 150 meters (500 feet) by 2035.
Thoroughly evaluating fire risk through a comprehensive assessment of a wind project is one thing, but using it effectively is another. Once a fire risk assessment (FRA) has been conducted, it’s important to consider how to share the assessment with the range of stakeholders that are certain to benefit from being aware of its contents. In our latest report, ‘How to Evaluate Fire Risk,’ we identify eight stakeholder groups with whom you should share your FRA to effectively reduce the risk of fire.
While most turning, grinding, and milling machines are designed for safety, they are not failproof. CNC machine fires cause significant loss to life, limb, and property every year. These fires could result from excessive heat, tool failure, programming mistakes, a drop in oil level, and any other anomaly. When left unchecked, such fires can spread quickly and envelope other equipment or even the entire facility. In contrast, the timely detection of fires and suppressing them right at the start can protect the equipment, building, and lives.
Wind turbine fires don’t just burn infrastructure; they burn time and money. Incidents can result in several hours of downtime across the entire wind farm and put the affected turbine out of commission for over a year. In addition to missed-out megawatts, the resulting cost can shoot beyond $9 million as turbines increase in size and complexity. The process of repairs is lengthy, expensive, likely dangerous, and ultimately avoidable. Fire suppression systems, which act at the first sign of fire, stifle the flames before they can cause real harm to equipment, reputations, lives, and the bottom line.
Wind turbine fires can be catastrophic. Not only the asset itself but also to the individuals and the surrounding environment. For wind farm owners seeking to safeguard their assets from fire risk, undertaking an in-depth fire risk assessment (FRA) is vital. Our latest report, ‘How to Evaluate Fire Risk at Wind Farms,’ highlights the importance of FRA’s and advises the best methods for conducting them.
By 2030, 205GW of new offshore wind capacity is expected to be added globally, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Though this growth is essential for the energy transition, it presents new and heightened challenges to the industry. From getting the energy to shore, the sea-bound commute for operations and maintenance (O&M) teams, or preventing and rapidly responding to a turbine fire in order to reduce the financial, environmental, and reputational impacts, the offshore wind industry has a new set of challenges that it must rise to.