NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

NIOSH Hazard ID, HID 15 - fire fighters exposed to electrical hazards during wildland fire operations.

Cortez KL; Mezzanotte TP
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2002-112, (HID 15) 2002 Jan; :1-4
Among the various hazards fire fighters face are electrical hazards during wildland fire suppression activities. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 10 fire fighters died from contact with electricity during wildland fires between 1980 and 1999 (this figure does not include lightning strikes) [NFPA 2001]. As part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, NIOSH investigated two separate incidents in 1999 in which fire fighters died or were seriously injured from exposures to electricity while fighting wildland fires [NIOSH 1999a,b]. Fire fighters performing fireground operations near downed power lines may be exposed to electric shock hazards through the following means [NWCG 1998; IFSTA 1998b]: Electrical currents that flow through the ground and extend several feet (ground gradient) Contact with downed power lines that are still energized Overhead power lines that fall onto and energize conductive equipment and materials located on the fireground Smoke that becomes charged and conducts electrical current Solid-stream water applications on or around energized, downed power lines or equipment.
Fire-fighting; Fire-hazards; Electrical-hazards; Electricity; Smoke-control; Electrical-charge; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Fire-fighting-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-clothing; Protective-materials; Electrical-burns; Electric-properties; Training; Gloves; Safety-practices; Electrocutions
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Hazard ID
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2002-112; HID-15
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: July 16, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division