An arc flash is when a large amount of electricity suddenly moves across a gap. It’s a type of an electrical explosion. In essence, it’s like lightning in a very small space. If you’ve ever seen an incandescent bulb burn out, that bright flash just before it dies is an arc flash. Arc flashes are bright, quick, hot, and can cause severe burns.
Electricians who work on high-voltage lines or in power plants have to be very careful of arc flashes. When working with so much electricity, the worker cannot let it overcome the resistance of the air and jump (arc) across it to another point. But mistakes do happen.
An Arc Flash Example
A nuclear power plant in Florida experienced an arc flash, according to Channel 7 in Miami. A worker was injured and a fire door was damaged from the release of energy. The worker was taken to the hospital for treatment. Fortunately, other safety systems prevented the arc flash from causing further problems. If the flash had led to a fire, the damaged fire door could have been a big problem.
Officials are investigating the cause of the arc flash and how it might be prevented in the future.
For a homeowner, the most common scenario leading to an arc flash is when the homeowner is working on an electrical panel and fails to take the proper precautions. Seek training or hire an electrician to do any work on an electrical panel or any other household electrical work. If you work on electrical lines as part of your job, make sure you follow all safety procedures and use personal protective equipment at all times to protect yourself.
Click for more information on electrical burns. And if you ever suffer serious electrical burns and another party is to blame, call our lawyer referral specialists at 844-549-8774 for help finding legal help.