Fires are organized into classes that describe either their primary cause or the type of material that burns. The unique danger posed by a Class C fire, by definition, involves energized electrical equipment—more specifically, “appliances and wiring in which the use of a non-conductive extinguishing agent prevents injury from electrical shock.”
Oxygen, heat, fuel—that’s all a fire needs to burn. Electrical rooms can pose a fire hazard because they have all these ingredients in abundance. Electric currents create the heat, especially those flowing through damaged cords or wires because that current can escape. Dust, paper, and any other supplies used can act as the fuel.
In addition to keeping the building occupants safe, most codes require electrical fire protection of some kind. When it comes to electrical cabinet fire protection, organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have laid out guidelines for contractors and occupants alike. Learn about some essential building codes for electrical fire safety, and how an electrical room is laid out to promote a safer work environment for everyone.
There’s no way around it: transformer fires are highly dangerous, and they can be very expensive. And although they don’t occur frequently, it only takes one catastrophic event to put lives, property, and businesses at great risk. That’s why effective fire suppression systems are so important. With that in mind, how do you protect a transformer from fire? We will briefly explore the essentials of transformer fire protection—including key causes and best practices for preventing transformer fires.
A clean agent fire suppression system is the best option for those looking to safeguard electrical panels. Clean agents are gaseous fire suppressants that leave no residue and do not conduct electricity—the winning combination for electrical panel protection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.