With electric vehicles taking the world by storm, how do you anticipate killing fires on these vehicles?
What elements are crucial on the firefighting side?
Battery explosions can happen anytime and anywhere, but what measures should be considered?
A wide question I know, but this is something I'm battling with as an AHJ. Thanks in advance.
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10/14/2022 08:20:20 am
You cannot extinguish the battery cells as they let go and form a jet fire. Period, full stop. Doesn't matter if its a car or a scooter.
10/14/2022 08:21:03 am
This is more for the technology as a whole, not specific to just cars however...but to short answer you, lots of water for suppression, getting the battery pack(s) isolated/discharged if possible, and thermal runaway/off-gassing stopped.
10/14/2022 08:36:29 am
Salt water after, its the most effective mitigation if you still have cells intact. Vermiculite is hoping to insulate and delay propagation/thermal runaway in adjacent cells. Its not great do to the pack densities.
10/14/2022 08:24:16 am
I came across this article the other day. It shows using a giant fireproof blanket to smother the fire. It's not exactly an "automatic" method like a sprinkler system, but it does seem efficient in terms of resources, ease of transport, etc. Though to be fair, I don't know how these blankets are constructed.
10/14/2022 08:34:24 am
They will slow the fire and confine it....briefly. It also requires two people to get right next to the burning vehicle. A lot of hotel franchises are pushing this as a bridge until the fire department shows up. But its a losing battle when its inside.
10/14/2022 08:27:07 am
“In each of the six full-scale burn tests, firefighters at the test site found that they needed to flow large amounts of water on the batteries, because fire kept flaring up even after it appeared to be extinguished. In one test, a battery fire reignited 22 hours after it was thought to be extinguished. Telsa even has a special Guide for emergency response. here is the Scary part.
10/14/2022 08:31:48 am
My point exactly... you have to get the car out of the structure. Its often better to let it burn than extinguish once there are no exposures. As uncomfortable as that is for most FD's. Of course in denser urban areas this may not be possible. So you have to flood it... but the run off is now a hazmat situation. And you have to tie up a fire engine or three for up to 24 hours.
10/14/2022 08:53:28 am
This is where regulations will need to step in.
10/14/2022 08:57:42 am
Agreed, treat them like transformers, separate with 3 hour constrictions and add dedicated smoke control. But that is so pricy it will never fly.
10/14/2022 10:20:12 am
If Elon Musk build it I'm sure he could fix it!
10/14/2022 10:33:49 am
Here is some information from Fire Fighters Close Calls and Chief Billy Goldfeder. There was a symposium in NY on these types of calls. It is a google drive link to presentations, information, and some contacts at NFPA
10/15/2022 03:32:00 am
Many thanks Danial for sharing this very useful information.
10/14/2022 10:37:55 am
Dumb sand on them. Huge amounts. Highly impractical for a municipal brigade or automatic system. Maybe Purple K but it seems obvious water is not the solution.
10/15/2022 10:09:53 am
Unfortunately, water (huge amount for a long duration) is the only practical solution so far.
10/14/2022 11:28:40 am
With current battery technology there is no satisfactory answer.
10/14/2022 03:29:22 pm
Check out this resource from the International Association of Fire Chiefs. You have to click on the document to download it. They are also working on one for fixed ESS systems
James Art, FPE
10/19/2022 11:38:50 am
The links to NY presentations look great.
10/19/2022 01:08:00 pm
I'm on the West Coast of Florida. The State Fire Marshal and IAFF presented an excellent webinar today on EV fires as we've experienced many of them with the plethora of submerged vehicles. Here is the link:
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