What Causes Arc Flash? All the Information About Arc Flash Safety You Need to Protect Yourself

Before considering in detail the rules of electrical and arc flash safety, it is worth understanding the essence of the phenomenon itself. So, what is arc flash? An arc flash or ‌electrical flash is a dangerous situation where an electric current passes through air or another insulated medium between two conductors. It typically happens when the rules of electrical arc flash safety are violated.

What is arc flash hazard?

During an arc flash, sparks are emitted from the air, which can be accompanied by high heat and sound radiation. This creates a danger of burns, electric shocks, failure of electrical appliances, etc. What is the danger of arc flash? An arc flash can cause a fire or explosion.

When can such situations arise?

Based on what is electrical arc flash, it becomes obvious that this phenomenon can occur when the contacts of an electrical switch are closed, during malfunctions in electrical networks, or in devices. It can occur when turning on or off electrical devices, shorting conductors on a power transmission line, or when the insulation of the conductors is destroyed. Similar situations also arise if someone tries to turn on faulty devices, and in this case, the electric current begins to flow through other conductors or parts of the equipment.

How to avoid an arc flash and protect yourself and your electrical appliances? Basic rules of electrical safety

To ensure electrical and arc flash safety and prevent arc flash, protective devices such as fuses or circuit breakers that can shut off the electrical current in the event of a short circuit are commonly used. It is the basis of electrical arc flash safety, but in addition, both at home and at the factory, it is critical to follow the essential rules, including:

  • Monitoring the serviceability of sockets and electrical connections and ensuring proper grounding.
  • Avoid situations where many powerful devices and equipment are turned on at the same time. The risk of arc flash is especially high if many devices are connected to one outlet or one extension cord.
  • Compliance with electrical safety when repairing appliances (do not touch electrical wires or devices with wet hands; turn off electrical appliances before cleaning or repairing them; do not disassemble any devices if you do not have the necessary qualifications).
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If you notice an unusual smell or see sparks, turn off the power immediately and contact an electrician.