An official website of the United States government

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.

InfoGram

Know your safety risks: electric vehicle battery fires

Posted: Jan. 28, 2021

Learn about three 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

Know the threats before you attack an electric vehicle fire

A better DC hot stick technology is on the way

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

View the articles in this InfoGram.

Subscribe to the InfoGram

Other articles include:

  • FEMA releases EOC Toolkit
  • ASPR TRACIE creates 2020 Resources Digest and COVID-19 Vaccine Resources collection
  • National Fire Academy now accepting applications for course vacancies but suspends application periods for EFO and MO programs
  • Cybersecurity threat and vulnerability updates

Featured InfoGram articles

Previous InfoGram bulletins