Over 50,000 electrical fires occur annually, with nearly 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries, according to research from the Electrical Safety Foundation International. It goes without saying that electrical fires are common and dangerous, but they can also be preventable with the correct safety measures in place.
Selecting and implementing the right fire suppression system can be the difference between a minor fire and a catastrophe. If you think about fire suppression systems and picture old sprinkler systems or run-of-the-mill fire extinguishers, it might surprise you to know that there are modern systems that don’t use water or foam.
Is a fire suppression system the same as a sprinkler system? The short answer is no; they are not the same. Although they may share the same objective—suppressing and extinguishing a fire—their methods of doing so are very different. In this blog, we'll talk about the difference between a fire suppression system vs a sprinkler system so you can make an informed decision on which one would be suitable for your application.
Though solar farm fires are rare, they are not impossible. Any high-power electrical equipment, including a solar power plant, presents a risk for fire. The good news is that solar farm fire protection has quickly evolved along with the solar industry. Let’s talk more about what happens in the worst-case scenario when a fire does break out at a solar farm.
Given suspicions that solar farm fires are underreported, a new Firetrace International report highlights concerns that the solar industry may be unaware of the true extent of fire risk. Data concerning solar farm fires is in short supply. In fact, such is the lack of statistics that researchers – specifically, those at the UK’s BRE National Solar Centre – have reached the worrying conclusion that they suspect solar farm fires are being underreported.
If you’re a building owner, a business owner, or another key decision maker in an industry where the potential for fire is high, then it’s important to understand whether or not you need a fire suppression system. The fact is, in many settings, fire suppression systems are necessary to quickly detect fire and automatically activate—before equipment or employees are put in harm’s way.
Electrical fires are one of the top causes of fires in industrial settings. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that fires caused by electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for 55% of direct property damage, as well as 9% of civilian injuries from 2011 to 2015. Electrical failure or malfunction caused $25 million dollars of direct property damage in the same time span.
Understanding the components that make up a fire protection system in buildings is essential for owners and safety managers to confidently decide which is the best fire suppression system for their needs. Knowing the different components supports an efficient installation, allows company stakeholders to monitor the progress of the project, and offers perspective on the final costs.
When it comes to electrical cabinets and panels, fires are more a question of “when” rather than “if.” These fires cost businesses tens of millions of dollars a year in damages, yet fire protection for electrical cabinets is not always required by regulations. In fact, electrical cabinet fire protection is often skimped on or skipped altogether, in part due to the cost of fire suppression systems.
When fires ignite in wind turbines, speed is of the essence for suppressing the flames. We’ve noted in a previous blog about how long it takes for a wind turbine fire to cause irreparable damage and concluded then that the straightforward answer is that it doesn’t take long at all. It’s a matter of minutes before a faulty electrical component or overheated gearbox ignites a fire that leads to total destruction.
Whether they break out in a commercial setting, electrical fires pose unique challenges when it comes to extinguishing them. A common approach would be to cut off the power supply first and then simply use an ABC fire extinguisher—the “universal” type extinguisher you may see around your workplace or your home.
The most common method of fire suppression is water. In part this is because many fire protection systems in buildings may have been installed before more advanced fire suppression systems were available. Traditional wet pipe water sprinkler systems keep a constant supply of pressurized water in the pipes, which is released by individual sprinklers as they are activated.