Sites: GlobalSpec.com | GlobalSpec Electronics | CR4 | Electronics360
Login | Register
The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Previous in Forum: Battery Ah   Next in Forum: IEC Standard Test Procedure for L.V MCCB & Air Circuit Breaker
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







17 comments
Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lahore
Posts: 333

Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/09/2013 1:13 AM

Hi;

After facing a big fire incident in our paper mill, now we have been told by management to check electrical related areas/places which can be caused by fire.

My department id Corrugator and I could guess only following points;

  • Loose connection in motor connection box or any other places (the most common)
  • A motor which cooling fan is missing.
  • Improper cleaning of a motor which works in an area having debris of paper.
  • Blast of tube lights or mercury lamp.
  • Lose belts of any motor (we faced a fire incident in past due to this reason)

I request to members please share your experience and add some more points to assist me

__________________
Don't assume any thing, always check/ask and clear yourself
Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
5
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain - possibly to become "South Scotland" or "Non-Caledonia" from September 2016. Kettle's on.
Posts: 22825
Good Answers: 590
#1

Re: Fire hazardous areas/places related with electrical.

05/09/2013 3:11 AM

Fire is a combination of fuel, oxygen and a source of ignition.

What is above is about removing sources of ignition. How about removing the fuel as well?

  • Process materials containment.
  • Waste management.
  • Good housekeeping.
__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Netherlands - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - Commodore 64 - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 2713
Good Answers: 37
#2

Re: Fire hazardous areas/places related with electrical.

05/09/2013 3:34 AM

And static electricity could also be an issue

__________________
From the Movie "The Big Lebowski" Don't pee on the carpet man!
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Out of your mind
Posts: 1856
Good Answers: 41
#3

Re: Fire hazardous areas/places related with electrical.

05/09/2013 5:17 AM

Any electrical device comes along with a fire hazard if it shorts out, burns out or even when it operates.

I would look at the whole facilty which might inlcude a kitchen area with hot water boilers and so on. I assume you only want the electrical side of things but I have to agree that housekeeping as in removeing fuel is imperative to prevent fires in the future!

You mention some sort of lamps, but every lamp can ignite paper. So you should basically start making a list of items that are there and categorize the possible fire hazard that comes with it. Some stuff will be low and some very high in the list.

But if you do so every electrical installation needs to be in this list!

Good luck!

__________________
Common Sense Dictates
Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain - possibly to become "South Scotland" or "Non-Caledonia" from September 2016. Kettle's on.
Posts: 22825
Good Answers: 590
#4

Re: Fire hazardous areas/places related with electrical.

05/09/2013 5:32 AM

Review the overload trip settings for every motor in the facility. Make sure that they are set no higher for the motor full-load-current as stated on the manufacturer's nameplate. Make records of the settings and the dates the settings were reviewed. Motors with correctly-set trips don't burn out; the trip oerates before that happens.

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
2
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain - possibly to become "South Scotland" or "Non-Caledonia" from September 2016. Kettle's on.
Posts: 22825
Good Answers: 590
#5

Re: Fire hazardous areas/places related with electrical.

05/09/2013 7:11 AM

What would it take to get to the point where the facility isn't waiting for <...management...> to tell it to improve safety systems?

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 4148
Good Answers: 156
#8
In reply to #5

Re: Fire hazardous areas/places related with electrical.

05/09/2013 12:48 PM

A great question.

__________________
On a clover if alive erupts a vast pure evil a fire volcanO
Register to Reply
Guru
Safety - ESD - New Member India - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Energy Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Pune , India
Posts: 824
Good Answers: 39
#6

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/09/2013 10:37 AM

To avoid electrical fire in any instllation following points are to be considered.

Keep electrical protective devices in proper working condition.

The Substation and switching equipments should be regularly checked for loose contacts and over heating if any.

The earthing system must be checked and properly maintained.

The switch room and space around switches to be kept clean ( proper house keeping)

As far as possible the cable trench and distribution net work should be properly maintained ( Cable tray / cable trench should be clear of all inflamable materials

Use fire retardent cables for new instllations and in paper storage areas try to provide fire proof electrical enclosers.These are available at much higher cost .

Periodical check of electrical systems is must for prevention of electrical fire.

Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Energy Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - Old Member, New Association

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 1036
Good Answers: 55
#7

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/09/2013 12:04 PM

Recently it has become more important to consider dust as a highly flammable material. I would expect that in a paper mill, paper dust could accumulate very quickly. If you want to prove this, gather some up and take it outdoors and light it. You will see that it burns very quickly. Secondly the hot embers may spread, leading to other fires.

There is a lot you can learn about potential hot spots using infrared sensing devices. They range from a non-contact thermometer to cameras that detect IR. But really, all you need is a spark.

I suppose this list could go on and on, especially if the actual cause was not clearly indicated. Properly labeled and storage of cleaning fluids could be something to consider. Even the use of steel wool could present a danger.

One favorite trick for starting a campfire is to light some steel wool with a 9 volt battery. This works best for clean steel wool right out of the bag or box. Rather amazing demonstration if you haven't seen it.

Your magnetic ballasts will generally become rather warm. In a failure mode, it could be a fire hazard. Years ago many of the manufactures started including a TCO (thermo cut off) switch inside it. You might have to check with the manufacturer to see if your ballasts have a TCO switch. I believe all of the newer ballasts have TCO device of some kind but they also run cooler because they are more efficient.

__________________
A great troubleshooting tip...."When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Register to Reply
Guru
New Zealand - Member - Kiwi Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 6348
Good Answers: 253
#9

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/09/2013 3:04 PM

Fires in a paper mill are actually more likely to be related to heat, so check worn and overheating bearings, belts, etc and areas where waste product could build up, overheat and catch fire.

Good housekeeping (regular cleaning) and periodic inspection of equipment will go a LONG way to preventing this happening again. Additionally this is an inexpensive solution too so management should love it.

Also don't forget to check the tightness of electrical connections, as this is likely the second most likely cause of fires you may face.

Jack - A hazardous area equipment inspector.

__________________
jack of all trades
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Haldia, West Bengal, India
Posts: 147
Good Answers: 1
#10

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/10/2013 7:41 AM

In addition of all precautionery measures already explained, in your paper mill, I think VFDs are used for motors.Therefore, it is suggested to carry out Harmonic analysis to find out presence of harmonics in power distribution system. High harmonics content generates extra heat/loss for which temperature may rise and may cause fire.

Manindra.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1734
Good Answers: 23
#11

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/10/2013 7:44 AM

In Asian countries we lack discipline. Is whole factory declared Non Smoking Area?. Fire may due to some one who has thrown half burnt Bidi (cheaper version of cigarette) in heap of paper around. Of course it is necessary to check all electrical instillations for safety reasons.

__________________
"Engineers should not look for jobs but should create jobs for others" by Dr.Radhakrishnan Ex President of India during my college graduation day
Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3
#12

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/10/2013 7:55 AM

Electrical fire can be contained if we eliminate the presence of elevated temperatures in circuit conductors. You need to ensure that circuit and load protective device setting are appropriate and functional. Inappropriate circuit breaker and over current relay settings are recipe for fire. For your protective devices to respond promptly, your installation grounding must be effective.

Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - EE from the the Wilds of Pa.

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania
Posts: 884
Good Answers: 22
#13

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/10/2013 8:53 AM

Add to your list - get a good infrared temperature meter and start checking connection points, such as breakers to the mains in a panel box and wires to lugs on disconnects and to breakers. Until we got one at this plant, we had no idea how many of these devices, with screws, loosen up, corrode, then the added resistance generates a lot of heat. Get a bit of paper dust in one of them and you have a fire very quickly.

__________________
They asked me if I was all right - I said, "well, no, I am half left."
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lahore
Posts: 333
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/12/2013 2:50 AM

Dear Friends;

Thanks a lot to share your views. I got some points which were not in my mind but are helpfull.

__________________
Don't assume any thing, always check/ask and clear yourself
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lahore
Posts: 333
#15
In reply to #14

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/13/2013 5:30 AM

Hi Phys

I have started working to make a list of those connection points for which their temperature would be checked via infrared temperature gun. I want to ask that;

· The temperature of those connection points should be checked and logged where 1A or greater current is following. Is it ok?

· What should be the frequency of this test, I think after three month would be sufficient?

I have also started working to prepare a list of all overloads and there normal set point as guided by PWSlack.

__________________
Don't assume any thing, always check/ask and clear yourself
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Instrumentation Engineering - EE from the the Wilds of Pa.

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania
Posts: 884
Good Answers: 22
#17
In reply to #15

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/13/2013 8:02 AM

Loads below 1A probably won't cause a problem - every 3 months is a good starting point - you may eventually extend this period if nothing is changing.

__________________
They asked me if I was all right - I said, "well, no, I am half left."
Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 13
#16

Re: Fire Hazardous Areas/Places Related With Electrical

05/13/2013 6:46 AM

you may ask some expert for infrared testing. some insurance companies do it for free. you may also ask your insurance company for a risk inspection at your site. in india they do it as a value added service. check how the lahore people do it. there is nothing wrong if you get some expert loss control measures even if you have to pay.

where exactly in your paper mill did the fire take place? it has been observed that poor electrical maintenance is one of the prime causes of fires in many industries. storage near electrical fittings, excessive storage near machinery and electrical fittings due to production pressure, poor access to firefighting equipment or inadequately designed firefighting system are other contributing factors.

Register to Reply
Register to Reply 17 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

al_ebigwai (1); archlpe (1); Epke (1); IdeaSmith (1); jack of all trades (1); manindra (1); NotUrOrdinaryJoe (1); Phys (2); PWSlack (3); Signode (2); suresh sharma (1); truth is not a compromise (1); V.I.Abraham (1)

Previous in Forum: Battery Ah   Next in Forum: IEC Standard Test Procedure for L.V MCCB & Air Circuit Breaker