Fire and Electrical Safety News – Autumn 2015

In this issue of Fire and Electrical Safety News, we take a look at three different types of fires which can affect your business. The first two are real life examples of Fires that occurred in Perth recently, which resulted in significant loss to assets and a huge risk to personnel. Finally we take a look at Testing & Tagging for all businesses, and dispel a few myths.

Business Loses all in Fire

business-fireA fire at a hardware store in Northampton, in Mid West region, has caused millions of dollars worth of damage to local businesses.

The blaze started in the store & quickly gathered momentum, burning through fuel, paint, and oil and causing gas cylinders to explode. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advised people within a 1km radius of the fire to evacuate the area due to a cloud of toxic smoke.

The fire spread to the nearby business sheds, which housed agricultural chemicals. The fire caused these gas cylinders to explode.  It comes at the time of the year farm suppliers stock large volumes of chemicals for spraying and seeding for the local farming community.

This fire has had a major local community impact and has caused widespread damage to the agriculture businesses in the local community.


Haulage of Flammable Goods

Truck-on-fireThe incident started late at night on a privately own freight truck, which was carrying a load that included gas cylinders and mixed chemicals.

The truck was travelling on the Eyre Highway, 77km west of Eucla, close to the South Australian border. It took around 18 hours until the fire was out completely and the road could be safely re-opened While the truck was completely gutted by the fire, the driver was uninjured.

The exact cause of the fire has not been determined, however transporting gas cylinders can be potentially hazardous and great care should be taken. As gas pressure is high, a ruptured cylinder or valve can cause serious injury or damage. Some gases are very flammable and a leakage can create an explosive atmosphere in a vehicle.

What made it difficult for fire crews and hazmat teams in this instance was that there was no placarding on the vehicle and no manifest, so there was very little information available about what chemicals were present.

People transporting potentially hazardous substances need to make sure that information about what they are carrying is readily available as this is legally required.


Electrical Testing & Tagging – Is Your Business Compliant?

The standard that applies in this area – AS/NZS 3760:2003 In-Service Safety Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment – specifies the safety inspection and maintenance standards for Australia and New Zealand, and can assist in complying with OH&S legislation.

It is vital to remember that the Standard should be read in conjunction with state specific legislation as testing and retesting requirements detailed in legislation vary from state to state.

Many people have been caught out with a ‘one size fits all’ approach to testing and tagging. 

Confused by Test & Tag??

Testing and tagging is one element of electrical safety that has caused confusion & controversy since its inception.

Many people believe it to be an important part of a comprehensive electrical safety management system, however, some people believe it to be a waste of time and simply an on cost to businesses across Australia, and then there are those that believe it to be an important only in a Construction environment.

The facts remain, even in a non Construction environment, up to 10% of appliances fail first round testing, and many of these appliances have the potential to kill.

So don’t be caught out, phone Peter on 0487514111 or email us today and FCF Fire and Electrical WA South contact us for information on Electrical Testing & Tagging.