Tag Archives: arc flash

Be Prepared. Perform Electrical Preventive Maintenance.

Be Prepared is the motto for businesses, too.“Be Prepared.” It’s more than a motto. It’s key to Risk Management, and now necessary for compliance with 2015 NFPA 70E.  More importantly, it’s what we need to do to prevent electrical system failures and accidents.

Prevention starts with a systems approach to electrical system maintenance…maintenance that is on-going (with continuous improvement) and not an Every Ten Year project.

Stage One in electrical prevention maintenance is an infrared analysis of the electrical system. During this non-destructive, low cost process, technicians use specialized infrared (IR) cameras to detect thermal hot spots and predict possible electrical equipment in failure mode.

Continue reading Be Prepared. Perform Electrical Preventive Maintenance.

Electrical System Accident Prevention


“I didn’t know it would break,” at least that was the eight-year-old’s explanation when she dropped and shattered her dad’s new smartphone.

Yes, accidents do happen, but could Dad have lessened the risks if he hadn’t left his phone within reach of his inquisitive daughter, or had a better case protecting it, or simply told his daughter that the phone was off limits until she was a little older?

Continue reading Electrical System Accident Prevention

Teaching a BOC Course

Questions and Answers

(John Welch, an electrical engineer and the founder of Bowtie Engineering, is a Building Operaton Certification (BOC) instructor at Gwinnett Technical College, the only BOC training facility in Georgia. The following is an excerpt of an interview in the Winter/Spring 2016 issue of Building Operator Certification Newsletter.)

When and how did you hear about BOC?

I met Gail Edwards (Division Dean of Automotive & Trades at Gwinnett Technical College) at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in 2008. She was talking up the BOC program and thought that I might be a good fit with my background. I had never really taught in a classroom setting before, although I had done a lot of electrical safety training. So I started teaching a few classes here and there. Now I just enjoy the heck out of it – I’ve been to a bunch of different BOC locations throughout the country and have just met some great people. It’s regular folks getting practical training from industry professionals, not just some dry, book-oriented class.

Continue reading Teaching a BOC Course

The Power of an Arc Blast

Four times the power of the sun. That’s how hot an arc blast can be. Imagine what that kind of heat and flames can do to anyone near an electrical arc flash.

The statistics for an arc explosion are eye-opening:
NFPA book

  • 30,000 arc flash incidents per year
  • An estimated 400 people die each year an arc explosion.
  • Arc flashes injure 5 to 10 people each work day.
  • 80% of all electrical injuries are burns caused by clothes igniting from arc flashes.
  • An estimated 2,000+ go to burn centers yearly for electrical burn injuries.
  • An arc flash can kill at10 ft. away.
  • Electrical blasts produce temperatures as high as 35,000
  • An estimated 500 people die annually from low voltage (120 volts) shocks.

Besides the devastating human toll that an arc flash can bring, the cost and liability to businesses are huge. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) addresses the dangers of arc explosions in their 70E guidelines.

Adhering to NFPA 70E guidelines, the standard for electrical safety, can save lives and prevent injuries from arc explosions.


“If I had just put on my PPE.”

Donnie Johnson is an experienced electrician. He knew he should have put on his PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) before working on the electrical panel that day. But, he admits, he just didn’t want to take the extra minutes needed to gear up. Continue reading “If I had just put on my PPE.”

Two Men. Two Explosions. Same Day.

The story is horrific. Two men burned at the same facility, on the same day, but in two separate arc flash explosions. Continue reading Two Men. Two Explosions. Same Day.