Earthquake Safety Systems, Inc.
The #1 source for earthquake actuated shutoff systems for
industrial and commercial loss mitigation.
Copyright 1998 - 2016 Earthquake Safety Systems, Inc., All rights reserved.
From the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS):
"Reducing Electricity-Related Ignitions
Despite the fact that
fires caused by electricity-related ignitions are equally or even more common than gas related ignitions, the risks and potential
mitigation options have received significantly less attention in the existing literature. Again, electricity-related ignitions can
be reduced by strengthening weak buildings to help prevent structural damage, which can lead to stretched wiring and broken connections.
Furthermore, an approach to reducing electrical system related ignitions could be the installation of arc-fault circuit breakers that
would immediately shut off electricity to circuits where arcing was occurring. This might be considered analogous to the automatic
shutoff valve approach to limiting gas flow. While modern electric codes are requiring these types of devices in many areas of new
housing, more research is needed to determine whether this concept would be cost-effective in actually reducing electricity-related
ignitions following an earthquake."
In seismic zones 3 & 4, in the absence of a risk-informed, performance-based analysis we propose earthquake actuated
automatic electrical disconnect for strong motion events exceeding the limit defined by the lower ASCE 25 response curve. Although the
ASCE 25 standard was developed for residential earthquake actuated automatic gas shutoff, the lower curve provides a reasonable 'first
level' of shaking at which safety concerns arise. The ASCE 25 standard also has the 'feature' of rejecting high frequency /
high acceleration energy which might be associated with building mechanical equipment.