Better not to burn: firefighters admitted that they do not know how to extinguish electric carsOctober 12, 2020
Half of U.S. firefighters have no instructions in case of electric vehicle fires
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published data from a study aimed at determining the readiness of US firefighters to extinguish electric vehicles. As it turned out, only 25% of firefighters received special training. According to employees, half of them are not prepared to extinguish electric cars and hybrids.
A third of the respondents simply do not know what to do in this case. Half said they had no protocols or instructions on this matter. In other words, firefighters do not know how to act in the event of an electric vehicle accident / fire. The reason for the investigation by the NTSB was the incidents of ignition of batteries of Tesla electric cars after an accident.
So, after an accident on March 23, 2018 on the California freeway, the Tesla Model X electric crossover caught fire twice within 24 hours, and then again six days later. As noted in the agency, it is the lithium batteries used by Tesla that are the most “aggressive”. They can spontaneously ignite and are difficult to extinguish. There is also a risk of electric shock to firefighters.
According to a report released by the NTSB, 32 fire departments were inspected in 2018. 65% of them said that the reason for the ineffective extinguishing of electric cars is the lack of training and funding. Firefighters are not familiar with the specifics of fire fighting in cases where the battery cells are engulfed in flames. The NTSB also documented cases where firefighters did not use the generous amount of water recommended in such cases to cool overheated power supplies.
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