Energy storage systems: fire safety focus of discussions in the U.S. and abroad

Blog Post created by wlefkovich Employee on May 9, 2017



Last week was the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) New England Chapter monthly dinner meeting, and the topic of discussion was energy storage systems (ESS). At the meeting, Lieutenant Paul Rogers from the Fire Department of New York gave a presentation on ESS from the emergency response perspective.


The event was well-attended, and the audience was very engaged. The attendees were a diverse group of people from a variety of professional backgrounds, including authority having jurisdictions (AHJs), fire marshals, engineers and designers, equipment manufacturers, and researchers.


Lt. Rogers’s presentation focused on the fundamentals of ESS, and covered some of the specific considerations emergency responders must give when dealing with ESS. He also gave several examples of installations and proposals for consideration in New York, an overview of fire hazard research, and talked about stranded energy, a characteristic unique to ESS. 


The emerging issue was also covered during NFPA president Jim Pauley’s keynote speech at the Fire Australia conference last week. Later that day, NFPA’s vice president of engineering Chris Dubay presented an educational session on lithium-ion battery storage and associated fire safety dangers. Electric vehicles and energy storage systems were the focus of the presentation, with Dubay providing perspective on codes and standards, NFPA emergency responder training, research, and the knowledge gaps that have been identified for these topics.