Kilpilahti area companies co-operate on various matters concerning the whole site, such as fire safety and communication. In this Spring’s fire safety forum it was decided that Aurora would plan a simulated emergency event at one of its substations. Aurora Kilpilahti O&M manager and Group Safety officer Mika Halonen started planning the event early summer 2019 and finally the simulated emergency training took place end of August. The goal of the event was to practice the rescue of an unconscious person from a main transformer bunker and test water handling for fire extinguishing purposes in close proximity to a live air insulated switchgear. Aurora Kilpilahti staff, Neste electrical stand-by duty officer, Kilpilahti on-site fire department and a couple of independent external observers participated in the event.
Substation M001, which is in the replacement and upgrade pipeline, and more precisely Strömberg main transformer 3 from 1972, was chosen as the training site. For the safety of the participants the main transformer was disconnected through alternative coupling before the start of the training. Before testing the primary water pipes for fire extinguishing the most sensitive main transformer components were carefully protected. The practice perimeter was also separated to ensure safe distance to live electrical equipment.
The simulated emergency situation, in which even smoke machines were used, was a success and certain development items were raised such as coordination of communication in case of emergency, updating and replacing old signs and organizing regular briefing visits for the fire department at Aurora substations. Response time of the on-site fire department was an outstanding couple of minutes from when the fire alarm went off.
Aurora’s key motto is “Safety first – get us home safe today and everyday”. Mika Halonen notes that it is not sufficient that plans and processes are documented somewhere. “It is at least equally important to organize practical events such as these to test and develop those plans and processes. Electricity and high voltages are extremely dangerous – the rescuer shall not become the rescued.”
Petra Kraufvelin-Bergman, Executive Assistant