Utility Contractors and Utility Operations and Management have implemented a set of safety policies, rules, programs, procedures, and standards used to protect employees, contractors, and the public.
At GreenFire® we define this as Utility Contractors Fire Prevention.
The driving force behind this is the California Public Utilities Code Sections 8389(e) and (f) Wildfire Mitigation Plan, following the requirements of Public Utilities Code Section 8386, enacted as part of California Senate Bill 901 and as implemented by the CPUC rulemaking R.18-10-007.
The (HFRA) [High Fire Risk Area] Hot Work Restriction and Mitigation Measures program is one such policy in effect. These types of programs no longer wait for fire weather conditions, normal or elevated. They have become the norm and are ongoing.
Those following these policies and programs are as follows, but not limited to:
- Public Utilities
- Private Utilities
- Primary and Secondary Line Work and Switching
- Field Observer
- Crew Foreman or Site Lead
- Utility Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
- Prime Contractors
- Tier one and Two Contractors
- Distribution Inspection and Maintenance
- Transmission Inspection and Maintenance
- Utility Vegetation Management
- Public Safety Power Shutoff
- Wildfire Mitigation
Cause and Effect-The Why?
Number of fatalities or structures damaged or destroyed by wildfires ignited by utility infrastructure or equipment*
Fatalities due to utility‐ignited wildfire 1
Structures damaged by utility-ignited wildfire 90
Structures destroyed by utility-ignited wildfire 26
*This data was compiled from various sources, including CAL FIRE’s website and responsible fire agency reports. Data reported as of May 31, 2020.
Thomas Fire and Koenigstein Fire Litigation
In December 2017, wind-driven wildfires, 330 lawsuits, representing approximately 5,000 plaintiffs,
Woolsey Fire Litigation
In November 2018, wind-driven, 26 lawsuits, representing approximately 4,400 plaintiffs.
Sources of Ignition
Utility Contractors Fire Prevention is necessary to avoid the ignition of flammable vapors. Sources of ignition include but are not limited to:
- Open flames
- Cutting and welding
- Hot surfaces; frictional heat
- Electrical and mechanical sparks
- Spontaneous ignition, including heat-producing chemical reactions
- Radiant heat
Utility Contractors, along with Utility Operations and Management, can Pre-Treat brush and utility appurtenances for public/private utilities fire prevention in hot-work areas. GreenFire® protects where flare-up can occur in all seasons.
GreenFire® Wetting Agent enhances performance when added to water, reducing the amount of water needed—and increasing the cooling properties.
After water evaporates, GreenFire® Wetting Agent leaves behind a zero re-ignition layer of fire retardant on surfaces and cellulose materials, like the dry brush in your (HFRA) High Fire Risk Area zone.
Utility Contractors Fire Prevention Products:
Utility Contractors Fire Prevention and the use of GreenFire® would apply to all Hot Work Activities. Any activity that can initiate a fire or generate potential ignition sources:
- Metal cutting and grinding
- Welding, burning, oxygen and arc cutting
- Open flame soldering, brazing
- Pipe thawing
- Torch applied roofing, thermal spraying
The Utility shall confine all welding or metal cutting activity to cleared areas with a minimum radius of 10 feet measured from the place of welding and, depending on the assigned PAL, may need to utilize a welding tent or metal shield to deflect sparks. A 30-minute fire watch is required after completion of all hot work.
GreenFire Wetting Agent leaves a layer of fire retardant behind even after the water has evaporated.
Utility Contractors Fire Prevention Safety: Public & Private Utility Companies require its contractors to follow rigorous standards as it relates to safety of their workers and the public. The Contractor Safety Management Standard and accompanying Environmental Health and Safety Handbook for Contractors define Fire Safety as a key component.
GreenFire® Wetting Agent helps mitigate these potential hazards.