Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock () or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Know your safety risks: electric vehicle battery fires

Posted: Jan. 28, 2021

Learn about 3 key safety risks to first responders from electric vehicle fires.

Safety issues with high-voltage, lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles first gained widespread attention when a Chevrolet Volt caught fire three weeks after a crash test in May 2011. Challenges for responders remain, due to lack of standardized emergency response guidance for incidents involving electric vehicles with high-voltage batteries.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released safety recommendations derived from their Safety Risks to Emergency Responders from Lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Electric Vehicles report and created a short video summarizing the findings.

The electric vehicle incident investigations discovered three key safety risks.

  • Thermal runaway.
  • Stranded energy.
  • Battery reignition.

The NTSB calls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and electric vehicle manufacturers to provide standardized, vehicle-specific guidance for emergency responders in addressing the implications of these safety risks for fire suppression, mitigation and safe storage.

The organizations concerned with emergency responder safety are asked to inform their members about the circumstances of the fire risks and the guidance available to emergency personnel who respond to high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires in electric vehicles.

See also

UL webinars share lithium-ion battery science for safe response

Know the threats before you attack an electric vehicle fire

This article is based on content in the
Jan. 28, 2021 InfoGram.

View the articles in this InfoGram.

Subscribe to the InfoGram

Explore more articles:

  • Filter:

Featured articles

man with monkeypox blisters on his hands
Current Issues
2 firefighters marching in a Pride parade
Current Issues
photo of a man and a woman staring looking at their destroyed home
Current Issues
photo of a woman and man preparing a meal
Current Issues
storm clouds with houses in the foreground
Current Issues
pictograph illustrations
Coffee Break
community members meeting about wildfire projects
Coffee Break
firefighters talking
Current Issues
hoarded items in a home
Coffee Break
firefighters on hose line
Current Issues
home boarded up with clear board
Coffee Break
firefighter using a computer
Coffee Break
binary data with a question mark
Coffee Break
table made up of puzzle pieces
Coffee Break
Coffee Break
helicopter dropping water on a fire
Coffee Break
meeting of public policy makers
Coffee Break
firefighter addressing meeting