A Spark is Enough: Fire as the Enemy of Welders

Welder at Work

With welding jobs, one spark is enough to set things ablaze—just ask the man who burned his house by accident.

David Clay just wanted to fix his Toyota truck. He had spent more than a thousand hours on his vehicle when the fire sparked. One spark lit the truck on fire and, according to Clay, “it went really fast from there.”

His house might’ve burned down, but Clay suffers from no injuries because he wore proper safety gear.

Welding accidents are not limited to car projects; safety is always a critical consideration for both residential and commercial projects. Welding is a safe occupation, but taking safety measures for granted will result in a spark that burns down everything. For this reason, popular distributors such as Herrick Industrial Supply incorporate safety gear in their inventories.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) provides safety guidelines to minimize welding hazards and protect welders.

Also, it helps to know about the following potential hazards:

Fires and Explosions

Take safety for granted and you might deal with fires and explosions due to welding arcs. The real danger, however, is not the arc itself, but the 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit heat nearby. Intense temperatures trigger the arc to heat, spark, and spatter.

Don’t be a victim of dangerous explosions. Prevent a fire by inspecting the work area first; scan for potentially flammable materials and keep them away. Welding within 35 feet of flammable materials is not advisable, but if you must, always have a fire watcher nearby.

Electric Shock

When two metal objects share high voltage, workers holding bare wires are at risk for static electric shock. Electric shock is one of the most serious risks welders face, and it results in severe injuries or death (depending on the voltage levels).

Before handling equipment, welding operators should inspect electrode holders first. Keeping it in good condition protects welders from the hot metal parts inside. It’s also important to wear the proper safety gloves to prevent the consequences of high voltage.

Clay escaped severe injuries because he wore the right gear. Unfortunately, some welding operators fail to practice this daily. Protect yourself or your employees from potential fire hazards by using the right safety gear and equipment.

Practicing safety should also be a top priority because all it takes is one spark to burn a home or a building.

Just ask Clay about it.