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.
Fire suppression systems can be a necessary investment, both big and small. It’s natural that you want to get your money’s worth. When choosing a system or systems for your organization, it’s important to take into account the type of fire suppressant that is suitable for the application rather than choosing just based on the lifespan of the solution.
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.