June 23, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Electric car batteries raise concerns for firefighters

The NTSB reports firefighters are ill-prepared to deal with fire from the car’s battery.

As America makes the shift to electric cars, firefighters realize they may not be fully equipped to deal with car fires caused by them. It’s because of how much water it takes to put the fire out.  

CBS News reports, fire risks for electric cars is the reason General Motors recently recalled Chevy Bolts. Other car makers have done the same.  

A recent report by the NTSB found many firefighters are not too properly trained to put out fires caused by batteries in electric cars. It also found inadequacies in car manufacturers’ first responders’ guides for instructions on how to put the fires out. Tesla’s guide, which meets standards, tells firefighters to simply use a lot of water.

Firefighters need to hold hundreds of gallons of water continuously on electric car fires for sometimes several hours, because batteries are known to re-ignite after the fires are put out.

The question is how do firefighters access this huge amount of water?

In Tampa, firefighters have the tools available to pump water out of the bay to put a fire out if it happens by a bridge. Otherwise, they can use foam or dry chemicals to put the fire out. 

But, water is the best. In that case they have to do it the traditional way, using their trucks, fire hydrants and calling in back up fire trucks.

Electric cars rely on a bank of lithium-ion batteries. It’s like your cell phone battery but strong enough to power the average American home for two days.

Now automakers are spending billions to create cleaner, greener battery powered cars.

Meantime, local firefighters are staying prepared for if and when they have to put out those fires here.

Source News