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ARC Flash Analysis

What is Arc Flash?

An Arc Flash is a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from a low impedance connection through air to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system.

When an Arc Flash occurs, it can have devastating effects on your facility and employees. Arc Flashes often result in an arc blast, when electrical equipment explodes. Arc Flashes occur without warning and the tremendous amount of energy released is extremely violent and destructive.

Common Causes of Arc Flashes Include:

  • Improper use of tools
  • Material failure
  • Faulty electrical equipment
  • Improper installation
  • Lack of electrical safety training
  • Dust
  • Condensation
  • Corrosion

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 30,000 workers have been injured in workplace electrical accidents in the last ten years. Electrical incidents are disproportionately fatal and costly. 

The negative impacts of an Arc Flash, even on a small scale, are monumental. One incorrectly adjusted breaker can easily cause a power outage of an entire building. The downtime costs of a power outage can be astronomical and difficult to recover from.

More serious effects of an arc flash are fatal injuries to employees and destruction of the facility. The financial impacts associated with these effects include medical expenses, equipment replacement, downtime costs, insurance complications, fines and fees and litigation costs.

Prevention and Arc Flash Analysis

An Arc Flash Analysis calculates the energy generated during an Arc Flash using the magnitude and potential time duration of these events at various electrical devices in your system. The analysis will reveal the present degree of arc flash hazards and is critical for the safe, efficient, and economical operation of any electrical distribution system.

Our professional Electrical Engineers analyze each situation and provide a list of recommended solutions to ensure the best approach to Arc Flash prevention.

The Analysis includes a Short Circuit and Coordination Study. Short circuit calculations establish proper interrupting ratings and are the pre-requisite for the Coordination Study. The results of short circuit calculations determine minimum and maximum current levels for which coordination must be achieved and governs the settings and selection of devices for personnel and equipment protection.

Some of the benefits of an Arc Flash Analysis include:

  • Improved employee safety and protection
  • Optimal performance of electrical system
  • Energy savings
  • Confirmed compliance with regulations
  • Equipment damage prevention
  • Prevention against outages and nuisance trips

Requirements and Compliance

Regulatory agencies such as the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have responded to the severity and danger of Arc Flash in recent years. Currently, OSHA requires employers to protect their employees from electrical hazards by identifying and educating workers about dangerous and susceptible equipment areas, and to provide proper protective equipment and training related to working with Arc Flash hazards.

NFPA is a nonprofit organization serving as an authoritative source for public safety. NFPA advocates fire prevention and establishes the comprehensive standards for electrical safety practices. NFPA70E currently requires employers to develop and enforce an Electrical Safe Work Practices Policy. It also requires audits and revisions to keep the safety policy up to date. Having an Arc Flash Analysis performed on a commercial building is mandated through NFPA and OSHA regulations; it is the essential component to compliance and safety enforcement.


OSHA and the National Electrical Code enforce these standards and give fines up to $400k for non-compliance. Don’t let this happen to you, contact our experts today to learn how we can help you avoid this costly mistake.

Contact Us Now or Call Us at 760-560-0100

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Our Value to Your Facility

Our value is in our extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge of design criteria in numerous types of facilities. Because T-Squared has multi-disciplinary capabilities, we are uniquely qualified to synchronize these systems for coordinated implementation during construction, avoiding costly on-site modifications, and change orders.

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T-Squared Professional Engineers, Inc
1340 Specialty Drive, Suite E
Vista, CA 92081

Tel: (760) 560-0100
Fax: (760) 560-0101
Email: info@tsqeng.com

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