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#146222 - 11/14/06 03:52 AM Locking Main Isolators On  
kiwi  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 354
christchurch new zealand
This situation arose at work today;

Our Client has installed a Main Switchboard on the wall next to the reception desk in the Probation Office at a corrections facility. The Main Isolator has an external rotary handle and some disgruntled punters have been switching it off and creating havoc in the probation building.

We've given this a nomination for "Most Badly Located Switchboard" award. But our client wants a solution.

I thought that the Isolator could be padlocked on as long as the Fire Service was notified and given a key. I haven't consulted the Regs ( lazy me ). The other option is to build a cabinet around the board and hide it. This isn't palatable for the customer due to the cost.

Anyone else got any ideas ?

In the meantime they've strategically placed a large pot-plant in front of the board. Thats not ideal either !


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#146223 - 11/14/06 05:48 AM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
techie  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 246
palo alto, ca usa
chain an angry pit bull to the panel.


#146224 - 11/14/06 06:57 AM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
kiwi,
Section 51A(??) of the Fire Service Act says that you are not allowed to render a disconnect ineffective by a lock, even if the local Brigade has a key.
One idea would be to render that switch inoperative and switch it by remote control.
Hence making that switch a contactor and having a Fire Switch somewhere else that the Brigade knows about, but not telling anyone else apart from those that should know it's position and function.
Keys are one thing that really hold us fire crews back.
The building might be fully involved, but you can't get near it until the key-holder turns up.


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#146225 - 11/14/06 07:11 AM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
BTW Kiwi,
Is this at Paparoa?.
[Linked Image]


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#146226 - 11/14/06 08:51 AM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
techie  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 246
palo alto, ca usa
How about a frangible-shackle padlock.. one whack from the butt of an axe and it's history.
(they are commonly used on standpipe valves, etc..)


#146227 - 11/14/06 09:34 AM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
techie,
We can open ANY lock known to man in an instant.
I will not give that info out in this Forum, as to how, but the fact is we should not have to open locks to effect a disconnection.
Our Brigade has 2 locksmiths as members.
{Children don't have a go at this at home, if we have to get into a house to rescue people or extinguish a fire, we will take any moves necessary to effect that cause, we'd rather not break a door, contrary to what they do in the movies.}


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#146228 - 11/14/06 09:40 AM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,399
Vienna, Austria
Yup... during a huge training we locked ourselves in a railway compartment and were badly disappointed the FD didn't break up the door but opened it using a leatherman instead... [Linked Image]


#146229 - 11/14/06 06:04 PM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
djk  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,237
Ireland
Fit a large CCTV camera, even a fake one over it.

With a big THIS AREA IS MONITORED BY CCTV sign.

Might discourage it.


#146230 - 11/14/06 07:20 PM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
RODALCO  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 854
Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Locking it off in the ON position is illigal the way i look at it.

If an isolation is required in an emergency anyone should be able to turn that switch OFF at any time.
the camera suggested by djk is a good idea to try out, otherwise the contactor suggested by Mike is good too.

But for isolation, the main switch may have to be relocated to an adjacent room less visible to the public.

[This message has been edited by RODALCO (edited 11-14-2006).]


The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

#146231 - 11/14/06 09:36 PM Re: Locking Main Isolators On  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Here is one of the basic differences between the US and the rest.

Here we often lock on disconnect switches, not Emergency stop buttons on equipment but power disconnects yes.

As far as the fire dept they have universal keys (bolt cutters etc) and will not hesitate to use them.

They will open any door or lock without delay if they feel it is in the best interest of safety.

If a "Main Isolator" can presumably be inside a locked building what is wrong with a pad lock on them?

Just curious, not suggesting anyone break the local rules. [Linked Image]


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 11-15-2006).]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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