What is an Arc Flash?
BY GRAPHIC PRODUCTS EDITORIAL STAFF
When electrical current jumps through the air between two points, it’s called an arc. We’ve all experienced a small arc at some point in our lives… remember the last time you reached for a metal doorknob and felt a shock? That was an arc. Lightning works the same way, but with a lot more power.
With high-powered electrical equipment, an unexpected arc can cause an explosive burst of heat and light. It's like lightning in a box and it’s called an arc flash.
Because of the deadly power involved, any equipment that poses a risk of an arc flash needs to be labeled with a warning. Everyone who works with that equipment should be aware of the danger, and know what they need to do to stay safe.
The most widely-used standard for arc flash labeling is NFPA 70E, and it has a very specific requirement when it comes to what goes on the label.
The NFPA 70E guidelines requires the following items on every arc flash label:
- The Nominal System Voltage,
- The Arc Flash Boundary, and
- At least one of the following:
- Either the available incident energy and working distance, or the NFPA’s Arc Flash PPE Category for the equipment
- The minimum arc rating of clothing required, or
- A site-specific description of the PPE required.
For more information about: Arc Flash label requirements, NFPA 70E or to ensure compliant electrical labeling at your facility: visit GraphicProducts.com or follow the link, fill out the form and receive your free copy of our Arc Flash best practice guide.