Arc Flashes and Flash Fires: What Are They?
Oftentimes, the need for flame resistant workwear is related to the work place hazard of arc flashes or flash fires. If you are a safety manager, you are probably already familiar with these terms and what sort of risk they pose to your crew. It’s important for workers, as well as employers and managers, to be aware of the danger, and when arc flashes and flash fires are potential risks.
Arc Flashes. An arc flash is an electrical phenomenon when the current jumps from one conductor to another. This happens in less than a second, and can cause severe injury, even death, for people who are in close proximity. When an arc flash happens, the sudden ignition of clothing follows. For electricians, wearing flame resistant workwear is of vital importance since they are often in the danger zone. Arc flashes can be caused by a variety of things, including corrosion, faulty installation of electrical work, material failure, and condensation. While arc flashes might not happen every day on the job, it’s important to be ready in the event of an accident.
Flash Fires. Flash fires are different from arc flashes in that they occur in areas with fuel, usually gas or combustible dust. A mixture of air with a flammable substance, in the right concentration, can be combustible. In small spaces, these sudden fires can not only create a lot of damage, but they can fill the area with smoke, causing asphyxiation or lung damage. Flash fires are a rapidly moving flame front that usually last no longer than three seconds. However, three seconds is more than enough time to seriously burn and injure workers in the environment. Non flame resistant clothing is flammable, meaning that once it is ignited, it will continue to burn causing injuries, and even death. Workers in environments that contain gas, fuel, or combustible dust really need to wear flame resistant workwear.
Depending on your job, you may feel that flame resistant workwear is unaffordable. Honestly, you can’t afford not to wear flame resistant workwear if you work in environments at risk from arc flashes and flash fires. Bulwark manufactures a wide variety of flame resistant clothing, so you can find workwear that meets the codes and standards for your job, and is still comfortable. From FR jeans and sweatshirts, to coveralls with breakaway zippers, you can find the best workwear to get the job done, safely and comfortably.
Risk of arc flashes and flash fires are two of the most common reasons to seek out flame resistant workwear. Before ordering, know the nature of your hazard, and what ATPV you need to meet with your clothing. If you are not sure, you can have a third party come in and assess the risk and hazards. Accidents like arc flashes and flash fires happen when you least expect them, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Outfit your crew with quality flame resistant workwear from Bulwark, and insist that it be worn properly. Flame resistant workwear can save lives.