Extinguishing Substation Fires

Never enter a substation unless specifically directed to do so by your incident commander and unless you are guided by utility personnel. If you have been told to suppress the fire, take the following precautions:

  • Position emergency vehicles at least 500 feet away from the substation.
  • Use only nonconductive ladders. Do not use metal ladders.
  • Carry ladders parallel to the ground. This helps you avoid contacting overhead facilities.
  • Never enter a substation without the guidance of utility personnel and until they have confirmed¬†that the equipment is de-energized.
  • If the equipment is burning, let it burn; it will be replaced. Utility personnel should be consulted before attempting to extinguish any equipment fire inside a substation.
  • Never use a solid stream of water on an oil fire; always use a fog stream. Transformer oil fires can be extinguished with protein foam sprays and water fog sprays, but a solid stream of water can actually spread an oil fire.
  • Report all oil releases to the incident commander. Follow standard tactics for a hazardous materials response, such as containing any run-off from reaching waterways or environmentally sensitive areas.