Congratulations to Tom Kelly for completing his Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional designation. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) program, CESCP, is designed to meet the needs of electrical and safety professionals who oversee electrical safety programs or who manage electricians and other personnel exposed to electrical hazards.
Unlike fine wines and some types of cheeses, not everything ages well. Such is the case with the materials used as insulation of electrical wiring. While the copper metal used as the conductor in many wire types will last virtually forever, the cladding used to protect and insulate the wire allowing electrons to flow to their final destination does not. Read More
While on a lunch stop during a recent vacation trip through Tennessee, I happened across a safety hazard that required immediate attention. The establishment had a raised concrete patio at the front with a steel railing around the perimeter. At one edge of the patio was a set of stairs with a continuation of the steel railing used as a handrail. The top edge of the patio had light strings wrapping the top metal bar as accent lighting for the perimeter. The light string continued down the stair handrail wrapped in the same manner as the rest of the patio. Read More
Equipment and appliances supplied with fuel gases like natural gas, propane and butane are a common and convenient part of most of our lives. Such devices as gas grills and ranges, ovens, furnaces, space heaters and water heaters usually perform without incident. However, when they malfunction the potential for incidents such as fires and explosions, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and burn injuries may occur. These incidents may be due to design and manufacturing defects in the product, or improper installation or operation of the device.
Several dangers involving the use of a hot tub (spa) may readily come to mind, such as the risk of shock or electrocution, or the risk of drowning for unsupervised young children. Not so readily apparent is the effect of overheating the human body, or “hyperthermia”.
Some individuals are more susceptible to the effects of hyperthermia, including the elderly, young children, and those in poor health. The effects of hyperthermia, or overheating of the human body, cause direct responses such as headache, nausea, heat exhaustion, increased cardiac output, lethargy, confusion, heat stroke and unconsciousness. The onset of hyperthermia is defined as being at 99.5° F; if the body temperature reaches 104° F, a life-threatening medical emergency exists. Read More
Many people just take for granted that something is just going to work, and in many cases assume that it will work forever. One such device that does not get enough attention is the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Simply put, a GFCI is a protective device that compares the current flowing on the hot and neutral wires of the circuit and will “trip” to disconnect power to the circuit if a small imbalance of current is detected. The imbalance of current is an indication of a dangerous alternate path for the current to flow from a damaged line cord or a fault inside an appliance and constitutes a shock hazard to a person. Read More
This is the first blog in a series on integrating new technologies into the process of forensic investigations. Documenting the scene of an incident accurately, efficiently, and safely is a key step in every investigation. Busy roadways and unstable structures present hazards to the investigator during the investigation process. The use of remote sensors can reduce these risks and provide data that otherwise could not safely be obtained. Read More
While a teenager might be very familiar with being “grounded”, there is confusion over the meaning of the word in the electrical sense. In building electrical systems, “grounding” and “bonding” are two terms that are often misunderstood. Improper application of the concepts of grounding and bonding may create lethal shock and fire hazards. “Earthing” is a term which comes from the European International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC). Earthing is synonymous with grounding but often thought to have a different meaning. Read More
As a result of the recent weather, those of us in South Carolina have gained a renewed appreciation of the damage that can result from flooding. Even a few inches of flood water can result in property damage and a loss of services in addition to the immediate risk of physical harm. Read More
During winter ice storms, power to residences is often lost and homeowners revert to using gasoline powered portable electric generators. It is often thought by some homeowners that leaving a generator outside in the severe weather may damage it or affect its performance and therefore resort to bringing the unit inside the shelter, typically, the garage. This is particularly hazardous when the generator is run for an extended period of time as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic exhaust gas can cause death. In addition, other hazards including electric shock, electrocution, fire and burns potentially can occur. Read More