Fire Fighting Help for Arc Flash and Fires in Underground Vaults

Firefighters at door

The dangers of a potential arc flash or arc blast occurring during a fire make the job of fire fighting that much more hazardous.

Put that situation in an underground vault or a commercial building with 3-phase power, and the dangers increase.

Some stations may have plans already established that include emergency response in underground vaults. Even if a vault fire is not considered a common event in your area, a response plan is a good thing to have in place and up-to-date.

The NFPA 70E  requires industries to regularly update their electrical safety programs. Fire stations should periodically check their electrical response plans as well. If or when a vault fire occurs and there is potential for an arc flash, fire fighters need to know what to do.

Fire Engineering Magazine and Fire Fighter Nation Magazine have published some helpful articles on the subject. You can link to the articles in the following list. (Some articles address incidents involving high voltage electricity.)

Collaborative Approach to Vault Fires – November 2017

AC / DC – Understanding the difference – March 2018

Smoke in the Basement – January 2018

Seattle Vault Fires – Deployment incidents – June 2017

Our Nation’s Aging Electrical Infrastructure – October 2017

 

Does your organization need electrical safety training?  e-Hazard offers a class designed specifically for first responders. It provides information on shock and arc flash risks during emergencies. Various emergency scenarios are discussed as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) related to electrical safety in emergency situations. You can view the specifics of this class here.

Ken Sellars

Ken Sellars

Ken Sellars is an instructor of electrical safety, NEC, Grounding/Bonding and Arc Flash Safety courses nationwide. Read more about Ken.

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