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What to Do with Substation Fires

Substation fires can be among the most intimidating destructive forces, and there are a number of ways they can get started, depending on the equipment used. The fires are commonly caused by hazards such as a mechanical failure combined with a combustible source, water getting into the system, or even an insulation failure. Many times, squirrels, rodents, raccoons, and other critters are culprits in damage, when they climb into substation plants via unprotected electrical lines and utility poles. These fires are exceptionally dangerous because of their potential for explosions, due in part to leaking oil that causes hazardous smoke. There can also be loose wires that aren't insulated, which could cause shock or electrocution. So, what actions should someone take should they encounter a substation fire?

electrical power substation

What Should Be Done

People usually want to do what they can to help in an emergency situation. However, in the case of a substation fire it is best to wait on the professionals. Here are a few things to consider if you need to assist:

  • The most important thing is to get yourself and others at least 300 feet away from the fire as soon as possible to prevent injury or even death. There is a potential for dangerous flying debris and explosions.
  • Contact the fire department. They should be on hand to protect adjacent properties and will be able to assist with injuries.
  • Be sure that utility personnel have been contacted. They know exactly how to handle this type of situation and can shut off the appropriate power source.

What Should Not Be Done

Sometimes in an emergency, people tend to act and not think things through. Learn now and avoid these:

  • Do not attempt to do anything on your own during this type of emergency with the exception of evacuating others and calling the professionals.
  • Don't try to subdue the fire. Let it burn itself out.
  • Never try to pour water on an electrical fire. Water and electricity do not mix.

Prevention is Key

Substation fires can occur for many reasons, but Critter Guard has a preventive solution that can help keep the substations up and running. We have developed a humane wildlife control product that deters squirrels and other rodents from interfering with electrical equipment. This not only saves the lives of the animals, but also significantly lowers the chance of substation fires due to animal activity. Contact us and let us help you get started on preventing critter interference with our Line Guard and Pole Guard systems today.

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