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National Safety Council
Call 811 Before You Dig
Substation and Transformer Fires
Burning electrical equipment is already ruined and will be replaced. The safest course of action is to let it burn.
Contact NIPSCO and wait for their personnel to arrive. Never attempt to enter a substation without utility personnel present.
Evacuate the area and keep everyone at least 300 feet away from the substation. Your most important responsibility in these types of emergencies is to protect the public.
Electrical equipment contains oil. Be alert for explosions and toxic smoke.
Protect area exposures to prevent the fire from spreading. Once the area is evacuated, focus on defending nearby property and green space.
If an equipment fire must be suppressed, utility personnel and the incident commander will tell you how to proceed.
Do not open or enter switch cabinets or pad-mounted transformers such as this one. This is very dangerous and unnecessary.
Never cut locks or pry cabinets open. Equipment contains live electrical components and if you contact them, you could be killed. Once a fire has begun, the equipment is unsalvageable and will be replaced. Don’t risk your life to save ruined equipment.
Call NIPSCO, evacuate the public, and protect area exposures. Whether it’s a transformer on the ground or on a pole, be alert for explosions and toxic smoke, and once the area is secure, do what you can to keep the fire from spreading.
Let transformers burn until otherwise instructed by utility personnel. They will determine when it is safe to extinguish an equipment fire and will advise your incident commander regarding the safest procedures.
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