Firefighting, Fireground Management, Fireground Safety

A Collaborative Approach to Electrical Vault Fires

Issue 11 and Volume 170.

By Chris Greene, Rex Morris Jr., Brian McGeever, Hamed Zadeghol, and Timothy Frank Electrical vault fires may not be common in your response area, but if one were to happen today, is your agency prepared to handle the emergency? What are the expectations of your local electrical utility? What is its response time? Is the response time longer at night? Is water the expected extinguishing agent? How confident are you that power has been secured prior to extinguishment? What’s your plan? I asked myself and others at my station these and other questions when our department was enhancing our procedures regarding electrical emergencies. We quickly learned that there were several miscommunications that had been propagated over the years through the brutal “telephone game” of information passing through verbal report and the lack of a written policy and expected procedures when it came to vault fires and other electrical emergencies. Ultimately,…

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