JAPANESE REPORTS ON ELECTRICAL FIRE CAUSES

1. Investigation Reports and Igniting Experiments on the Electrical Causes of Many Fires Started after the Big Earthquake in Kobe Area in 1995

K. Kinoshita, Y. Hagimoto, N. Watanabe

This report is a part of "Urgent Study Reports on the HanshinAwaji Big Earthquake, the Science and Technology Agency of Japan, June 1995"

Abstracted by translator

People were evacuated from their houses after the earthquake. Some of the fires started from their houses just after the electrical power supply was resumed.

In the ignition experiments, electric wires were connected to the power supply through two types of circuit protection devices. One protection device is a popular type equipped with thermal cutting out mechanism and the other protection device, which has thermal and electromagnetic mechanism, is not a popular type because it is a little more expensive the former. And a short circuit was made on the combustible materials. The combustible materials used in the experiments were cotton in the quilt for use as a Japanese bed, cotton gauze, and newspapers. The wires were crossed in two different angles, 10 and 90 degrees. Peak value of the current, electrical energy of the arcing, time needed to cut off the circuit, etc., were measured.

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