Written by Angela

Reach out to Dreiym Engineering for any Corrosion, Electrical or Forensic Questions.

January 29, 2021

What Happens During Arc Flash?

There are countless dangers that can appear while on the job. One of the most dangerous threats to workers is arc flash. Arc flash is an electrical issue that can result in property damage, fire, explosions, serious injuries, and even death. Companies must prioritize prevention for the safety of staff and assets. Discover what happens during arc flash in this brief breakdown.

The Causes

Arc flash has many potential causes. In more technical terms, it is caused when multiple electrical conductors are too close to each other, resulting in significant fault currents flowing through them. The low resistance path lets current flow through the air between the conductors, causing arc flash.

This can be caused by any of the following:

  • Excess dust, debris, or corrosion on or around electrical conductors
  • Static electricity
  • High voltage cables
  • Exposed live wires or connections
  • Exposure to liquids or moisture
  • User or worker error
  • Insulation damage, gaps, or wear
  • Disconnect panel obstructions
  • Improper safety measures, employee training, and more

Repercussions

Arc flash can cause blasts so hot they cause fires, pressure waves, and potentially molten metal shrapnel flying through the air. These blasts are extremely dangerous and are regarded with the utmost seriousness. Below are some possible results of arc flash:

  • Injuries, including serious injuries
  • Death
  • Property damage
  • Equipment damage
  • Safety hazards to the immediate and surrounding areas

Prevention Methods

Arc flash can occur without any warning, putting your workers and facility at risk for dire consequences. The best possible prevention method is investing in an arc flash assessment for your job site. An arc flash assessment should include the following services:

Site Walk Down

A detailed site walkdown means an inspection conducted by a professional engineer and arc flash consultant to detect potential equipment malfunctions, abnormal current paths, and ground faults.

Short Circuit Analysis

A short circuit analysis determines if your equipment is set up to safely handle destructive currents.

Electrical Coordination Analysis

This checks the job site’s protective devices to ensure its safety.

Arc Flash Analysis Report

This report is a complete study modeled, which allows you to see a larger picture of your facility’s safety from arc flash blasts.

There are a lot of things that can happen during arc flash. It’s important to focus efforts on preventing the occurrence of arc flash at all on your job site. Contact Dreiym Engineering today for more information on arc flash prevention from our expert arc flash consultants.

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