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New report answers question "What is different with electric drive vehicles and what tactical adjustments to emergency response are required?"

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Jul 17, 2013

EV Fire Suppression
A new report has just been published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation titled, “Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents Involving Electric Vehicles Battery Hazards: A Report on Full-Scale Testing Results.” This report was authored by R. Thomas Long Jr., Andrew F. Blum, Thomas J. Bress, and Benjamin R.T. Cotts with Exponent, Inc.

Fires involving cars, trucks and other highway vehicles are a common concern for emergency responders. Fire Service personnel are accustomed to responding to conventional vehicle fires, and generally receive training on the hazards associated with vehicle subsystems (e.g., air bag initiators, seat belt pre-tensioners, etc). For vehicle fires, and in particular fires involving electric drive vehicles, a key question for emergency responders is: “what is different with electric drive vehicles and what tactical adjustments are required?”

The overall goal of this project was to conduct a research program to develop the technical basis for best practices for emergency response procedures for electric drive vehicle battery incidents, with consideration for certain details including: suppression methods and agents; personal protective equipment (PPE); and clean-up/overhaul operations. A key component of this project goal was to conduct full-scale testing of large format Li-ion batteries used in these vehicles. This report summarizes these tests, and includes discussion on the key findings relating to best practices for emergency response procedures for electric drive vehicle battery incidents.

This report, like all Foundation reports, is free to download in full. 

By NFPA's Lauren Backstrom

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