When putting labels on an electrical system, it is important to make sure that you are using the right labels in the right places. You do not want to be placing labels where they do not belong or the people working on those systems will just ignore them. This can make it more dangerous to work on the equipment. This is especially true when looking at labels for very hazardous situations, such as arc flash labels. Understanding which types of equipment needs arc flash labels and what does not is a great place to start.
Equipment that Needs an Arc Flash Label
Anything that can cause an arc flash strong enough to injure someone working in the area, or to cause a fire, should be labeled to identify the risk. Switchboards, panelboards, and distribution boards, for example, often have high voltage going through them and should have this type of safety warning. Industrial control panels, enclosed circuit breakers, Inverts, UPS systems, transformers, and external variable frequency drives should also have an arc flash warning label on them.
Equipment that Should Not Have an Arc Flash Label
Some equipment that people often think need an arc flash label actually do not. This can cause confusion and even make the area more dangerous than it needs to be. For example, disconnects and safety switches do not need an arc flash warning. Lighting control panels, motors, internal meters, and meter control sockets are other things that may seem like an arc flash label would be appropriate, but that is not actually the case. This is because these types of equipment are made in such a way that they have little or no risk of generating an arc flash, so the label would be little more than a distraction.