Ettling, Bruce V. Electrical Fire Causes: Some Comments and Cautions.
Speaking of Fire. International Fire Service Training Association. Spring
Abstract: This article discusses some of the common misconceptions
regarding electrical fires. The author believes that too many fires are
falsely attributed to electrical causes. The author provides many electrical
installations and fixtures that should be examined to determine whether
the fire was a result of the electrical system. Proof must be obtained to
call the fire an electrical one. An investigator cannot simply examine the
fire scene and conclude the fire was electrical because there is not a typical
electrical fire scene. A specific electrical cause must first be found.
Some common clues, like a blown fuse or breaker, cannot solely indicate
an electrical fire, although they may contribute to the evidence.
The article lists many factors that could have started the fire, but
are also commonly results of a fire. For example, arcing can cause a fire
under specific circumstances, but arcing, along with electrical failures,
is also a result of heat from a fire. The article also examines the different
conditions wires may be found in after the fire and includes an illustration.
Before determining that a fire was an electrical one, the investigator must
make sure that the conditions were present to ignite a combustible substance.
For more information, contact:
Fire Protection Publications
Oklahoma State Universty
Stillwater, OK 74078-0118