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Electrical Fire #69616
09/15/06 12:25 PM
09/15/06 12:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 36
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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Re: Electrical Fire #69617
09/15/06 12:29 PM
09/15/06 12:29 PM
Zapped  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Let a plumber do some wiring. Or call 1-800-HANDYMAN. That should do it.

Re: Electrical Fire #69618
09/15/06 12:45 PM
09/15/06 12:45 PM
LarryC  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
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.

Re: Electrical Fire #69619
09/15/06 02:04 PM
09/15/06 02:04 PM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,231
SI,New Zealand
FPE springs to mind.......

Re: Electrical Fire #69620
09/15/06 02:29 PM
09/15/06 02:29 PM
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
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!

Re: Electrical Fire #69621
09/15/06 02:39 PM
09/15/06 02:39 PM
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
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?

Re: Electrical Fire #69622
09/15/06 02:52 PM
09/15/06 02:52 PM
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 785
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).]

Re: Electrical Fire #69623
09/15/06 03:23 PM
09/15/06 03:23 PM
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
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.

Re: Electrical Fire #69624
09/16/06 12:29 AM
09/16/06 12:29 AM
macmikeman  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
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.

Re: Electrical Fire #69625
09/16/06 06:22 AM
09/16/06 06:22 AM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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. [Linked Image]


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 09-16-2006).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
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