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#69616 - 09/15/06 10:25 AM Electrical Fire

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Winkler, MB, Canada
I've been asked to have a simulated electrical fire for our Fire Department's open house on October 14. Any ideas on how I should go about this?

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#69617 - 09/15/06 10:29 AM Re: Electrical Fire
Zapped Offline

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Let a plumber do some wiring. Or call 1-800-HANDYMAN. That should do it.

#69618 - 09/15/06 10:45 AM Re: Electrical Fire
LarryC Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 776
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
Run a large window Air conditioner off of a zipcord extension cord that has been run under a rug in a hallway.

Oh ..... SIMULATED!!!

Have the Vo-tech kids build you an insulated house wall complete with wiring and then run a 100 Amps thru some 14-2 NMB. Hinge the drywall and let the public see the heat damage.

#69619 - 09/15/06 12:04 PM Re: Electrical Fire
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
FPE springs to mind.......
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#69620 - 09/15/06 12:29 PM Re: Electrical Fire
LK Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
One type of fire that can be prevented, is closet fires, build a small closet with double 1/2 rock interior, install a pull chain with 100W A lamp, you will be able to demo, a closet fire every half hour, fill the closet with cardboard boxes and rags, right up to the light bulb.

And don't forget to do the demo, out in the open lot!

#69621 - 09/15/06 12:39 PM Re: Electrical Fire
Jps1006 Offline

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
What is the most common type of electrical fire? Or even a top 5 or 10 most common and let’s pick from that. Do you want to simulate a frayed cord spark on to drapes? Loose connection on a receptacle burning the insulation back? Or for the more dramatic, drop a wrench across the line side of the main service and let the molten metal spray onto the gas can for the lawn mower?

When my mom used to clean houses she walked in on a fire where the metal coverplate to the dryer recpt. came loose and dropped across the 220 on the plug. I don't know if the breaker popped (I assume it did) but the subsequent sparks had the laundry room on fire when she showed up and let herself in to clean. Lucky for the homeowner and the dog the way it timed out.

How about some sparks on to a pile of lint?

#69622 - 09/15/06 12:52 PM Re: Electrical Fire
wa2ise Offline

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 769
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
If you want to show what happens to house wire when it has a severe overload, get the bigger Weller soldering gun. Change the copper soldering tip with a loop of romex wire (about 4 inches long) and pull its trigger switch. The soldering gun has inside a transformer that converts the 120VAC to some very low AC voltage but at high amperage that normally is passed thru the soldering tip. Something like 500 amps. (I measured the voltage across the tip terminals, 300mV, and the wattage consumed, 200W, and if the transformer is perfectly efficient, that's 666 amps. I said 500 amps guessing some losses in the wattage delivered by the transformer to the tip).

The house wire insulation would start to melt and smoke and burn. Why you shouldn't use pennies in the fusebox...

[This message has been edited by wa2ise (edited 09-15-2006).]

#69623 - 09/15/06 01:23 PM Re: Electrical Fire
LK Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
A list of common house fires :

Closet fires, are right up there, and poor electrical installation of closet lighting, is an electrical created hazzard.

Another one is misuse of power strips, i was looking at the recent fire logs, and these popped up, they are more common, then wiring within building fires, or equipment fires.

#69624 - 09/15/06 10:29 PM Re: Electrical Fire
macmikeman Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
I was thinking you could put 4 14-2 cables thru a few joist for more than 24" in a 1" hole and then not derate them. Run them all to mostly unused receptacle outlet circuits in bedrooms and so forth. From all the stuff I read lately this will instantly burst into flames, energized or not.

#69625 - 09/16/06 04:22 AM Re: Electrical Fire
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
If I had to do this my first thought (other than should I) would be to use a welder as a power supply.

A welders output could easily be used to overload 15 amp branch circuit wiring.

They operate at a relatively safe voltage and the current can be controlled.

Not that I ever tortured some wiring components with a welder.


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 09-16-2006).]
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

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