It is currently Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:24 am



Post new topic Reply to topic
Author Message
ekstra   ara
 Post subject: NFPA 70e firefighter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:34 am
Posts: 3
I am a structural firefighter. Our gear is designed for NFPA 1971-2009 requirement. I can find sufficient documentation for electrical conductivity (ie boots are 1q4,000 V) but nothing on Arc Protection. Often we have to operate sizable switchgears to secure power and we often have such discussions. Our station gear meets HRC 2 but the question is about our turnouts, boots, and masks. Could anyone provide some direction to find some answers? Manufacturers have been no assistance.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:19 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Charlotte, NC
Good Question! Don't know if there is any testing for turnout gear and arc flash. Would expect based on the suits that I have seen and the idea that you go hunting for heat and we are trying to avoid it, your stuff is better than the PPE required for electrical work.

Hope it helps and thanks for what you do!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:36 am 
Offline
Plasma Level

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1103
Location: Charlotte, NC
fmpid wrote:
I am a structural firefighter. Our gear is designed for NFPA 1971-2009 requirement. I can find sufficient documentation for electrical conductivity (ie boots are 1q4,000 V) but nothing on Arc Protection. Often we have to operate sizable switchgears to secure power and we often have such discussions. Our station gear meets HRC 2 but the question is about our turnouts, boots, and masks. Could anyone provide some direction to find some answers? Manufacturers have been no assistance.


There are different testing and design criteria for flash fire rated clothing and arc rated PPE. Hugh will be able to help you with this. Also look at http://www.westexinc.com


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:33 am 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 201
Location: St. Louis, MO
I don't know if this is really the case, but my understanding a few years ago was that conventional Nomex is not very good for an electrical arc flash scenario. I don't know if the turnout suits are made from Nomex or not.

Conventional Nomex fibers would expand after being subjected to heat, but would not expand quick enough to protect in an electrical arc flash scenario. I would think, though, that if it is already heated and the fibers are expanded, then it would also protect against electrical arc flash.

But again, the testing standards are different. Hugh would be the man to answer the question on whether or not any of that gear has been tested to arc flash standards.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:34 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for the responses. Actually the turnout gear (pants/jacket) are not Nomex. They are a PBI Matrix which is a blend of Polybenzimidazole, Aramid, and kevlar. It was developed by NASA after the death of the Apollo Astronauts on the launch pad and directed for use by the fire services throught current times. The folks who make PBI recently provide us some data on our version of turnouts as HRC 4 but provided no formal documentation. Good news. Only wish the manufactures of the face pieces and boots would do the same. Both the boots and face pieces are made of Hycar rubber as the base product. I know they survive a constant 900 F but uncertain if they would take the calories in a flash.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:04 pm 
Offline
Plasma Level

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1103
Location: Charlotte, NC
fmpid wrote:
Thanks for the responses. Actually the turnout gear (pants/jacket) are not Nomex. They are a PBI Matrix which is a blend of Polybenzimidazole, Aramid, and kevlar. It was developed by NASA after the death of the Apollo Astronauts on the launch pad and directed for use by the fire services throught current times. The folks who make PBI recently provide us some data on our version of turnouts as HRC 4 but provided no formal documentation. Good news. Only wish the manufactures of the face pieces and boots would do the same. Both the boots and face pieces are made of Hycar rubber as the base product. I know they survive a constant 900 F but uncertain if they would take the calories in a flash.


Hugh, who is a member here, does a lot of testing of these materials and I think he can get your turnout gear tested and give you a real rating. PBI (AGO) makes, IMO, some of the best arc flash PPE on the market. In real life, I am sure your gear will be more than enough to protect you and your crew from any arc flash ou would encounter, it is all about preventing clothing ignition, but to be technically accurate having your gear tested and rated is a good idea.

You have a unique situation, it is not like in a fire fighting situation you will be checking the arc flash labels and using that as a basis to fight a fire or not.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:01 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:00 pm
Posts: 265
Location: Louisville, KY
Firefighter's Turnout Gear and Arc Flash

Though it isn't designed for arc flash they do very well. I have tested both the Scott and 3M scba gear and though the facepiece can allow infrared radiation burn, they did not ignite at 40 cal.

Most turnout gear (be it Nomex or PBI) is excellent in arc flash. We use the same lining in most of the arc flash gear on the market.

Nomex isn't at all bad in the arc. In shirts it is usually lighter than a treated cotton but excellent in arc flash ounce for ounce (or gram for gram since I'm in the UK and Germany this week).

Balaclava's work by firefighters are almost all arc rated. Majestic and PGI both have rated almost all of theirs.

Don't worry too much about arc flash. Most of the firefighter's I have seen hurt or killed have been from shock or arc blast.
[url="http://electricalarcflashsafety.com"]"http://electricalarcflashsafety.com"[/url]


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:34 am
Posts: 3
I appreciate all the responses. I will pass the information to the crew.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:14 am
Posts: 1
I fully support the spread of information about the dangers of arc flash and electrical injury. The correct clothing and knowledge of the dangers are essential for ANYONE dealing with electrical installation and I fully endorse your undertaking with this webinar.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:44 pm
Posts: 3
First thing is I would never have a firefighter operate switchgear without knowing all the loads and distribution. I am a retired firefighter, 20+ years and an industrial electrician with experience to 69KV and even I would only pull a meter in extreme cases. Shutting off the main breaker in a home or small store is one thing but operating switchgear is quite another. Most large plants and buildings have a set procedure to follow on dropping loads and so forth before operating switchgear. We use the Kirk key system so even if someone is untrained they would first have to understand the key system to be able to operate any main switches or main breakers. I know there are cases where it is hard to wait on plant personnel or the utility but a building is not worth a life.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 5:26 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Louisville KY
Good advice, GESPARKY221! I also am a firefighter...or was for 15 years in Indiana before I moved to Georgia. Being an electrician, especialy in heavy industry, I do not like the idea of someone untrained operating a larger disconnects or breakers. On the same note, having had many times in my career where I had to pull meters due to incredibly poor response time from power companies, I am glad to hear Hugh's response that the gear does perform well in arc flash. I never liked the idea of pulling a meter or operating a large breaker/disconnect, I much prefer that power off for firefighter safety. It really puts firefighters in a bad position any way we look at it - either the firefighter goes in with the potential of energized and damaged wiring in the unit, or they take a risk of arc flash by operating a disconnect untrained. I use to do an annual training with my crew on that very issue - electrical and switch safety, as well as high voltage safety.

Good info!

Ken


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:18 am 
Offline
Plasma Level
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 1880
Location: North Carolina
Kenneth Sellars wrote:
On the same note, having had many times in my career where I had to pull meters due to incredibly poor response time from power companies.


I'd be very wary of meter sockets.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=arc+flash+epri&source=video&cd=1&ved=0CFMQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DfZP47mlELSc&ei=QayjT8nuA4W00AGI3ZizCQ&usg=AFQjCNHxW99lgMofg_3w-ingEOGATWBwzw&cad=rja

Alternate route: Go to youtube, search for "EPRI arc flash". Read the first 1 or 2 that come up. Meter sockets have the best electrode configuration to project plasma out at you, enhancing the arc flash potential, and they tend to arc more often than expected. On the other hand in response to EPRI research, there are now some devices out on the market already which alleviate this problematic task.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 8:04 am 
Offline
Arc Level

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:00 pm
Posts: 442
Kenneth Sellars wrote:
On the same note, having had many times in my career where I had to pull meters due to incredibly poor response time from power companies, Ken


I hope you know a CT meter when you see it. Pulling one of these out will not disconnect the building wiring.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 6:46 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Louisville KY
Definitely know the difference in a CT meter and a residential/light commerical metering setup... and would not suggest to anyone to pull a meter like I used to do at all....not exactly a safe work practice, but often as a firefighter, risks have to be weighed (life-safety of the public, etc.) Back then, I chose to take that risk, but only while wearing my full firefighter ensemble and keeping everyone else far away, and then covering the base with a meter cover that we always carried on our trucks.

Like I said, NOT at all a suggested way, but in the same situation with someone trapped inside a building and my crew going in to rescue someone, I would probably do the same today WITH PPE on...unless the utility company made it there really quick!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:19 pm 
Offline
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Louisville KY
Excellent video on meter dangers...never pulled anything above a 120/240v energized...and always turned off the breaker downstream to ensure no electricity was flowing to house or small business loads...
now I know why!!! Wow....impressive.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:25 am 
Offline
Plasma Level
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 1880
Location: North Carolina
There have been improvements since the EPRI video. I've seen "arc flash resistant" meter pullers on the market now. I have no idea if they actually work but some utilities are starting to use them.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
© 2017 Arcflash Forum / Brainfiller, Inc. | P.O. Box 12024 | Scottsdale, AZ 85267 USA | 800-874-8883