‘Birthday candles rigged:’ Firefighters share safety concerns over electric vehicle battery fires


Fire department officials are raising awareness of the dangers of electric vehicle battery fires, calling on regulators to tighten electric vehicle safety standards for emergency responders. A fire department chief has called electric cars “misleading birthday candles” because of their tendency to reignite even after the fire is extinguished.

The regulatory review reports on the dangers of electric vehicle battery fires, which behave very differently from traditional car fires. A fire department chief said EVs that catch fire are “misleading birthday candles”, due to their tendency to reignite even after the fire appears to be extinguished.

Tesla car fire in Canada (Sons of Vancouver Distillery/YouTube)

Tesla crash and fire in Mountain View, Calif., under investigation by NTSB

The Tesla crash and fire in Mountain View, Calif., is under investigation by the NTSB (Twitter/Dean C. Smith)

After a Tesla vehicle crashed in Mountain View, California, firefighters spent five hours battling the vehicle fire. Firefighters extinguished the flames and sent the car to an impound lot where the car quickly reignited. Five days later, the car caught fire again. Fire protection experts are now criticizing the lack of U.S. safety regulations aimed at preparing firefighters to handle these blazes.

Electric vehicles use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries to operate, which can often lead to dangerously high temperatures if the cars catch fire. Emergency responders are also at risk of electrocution from damaged lithium batteries when handling electric vehicles during a fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently said that emergency response guides are inadequate, especially for electric vehicles. The NTSB found that half of all U.S. fire departments are unprepared to handle electric vehicle fires and nearly a third of fire departments have no specific training for electric vehicles or cars. hybrids that catch fire.

In June, Breitbart News reported that a Tesla vehicle fire took 4,500 gallons of water to extinguish. In May, firefighters in Vancouver, Canada, began investigating a car fire involving a Tesla after an electrical malfunction caused the vehicle’s doors to lock, trapping the driver inside as smoke began to seep through the vents. The driver smashed a window to escape. In July, a Tesla Model S Plaid caught fire outside Philadelphia, trapping the owner inside after electronically activated doors refused to open, attorneys for the car owner claim. The driver escaped from the Tesla, but the fire took firefighters more than two hours to extinguish.

On a larger scale, Breitbart News recently reported on an electric bus fire that became a raging inferno with no accident or other damage to the vehicle.

“Officials said the fire was difficult to extinguish due to the thermochemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites,” the outlet reported.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Naples noted that firefighters had to use “profuse” amounts of water to douse the flames.

“Lithium-ion battery fires are difficult to extinguish due to the thermochemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites,” firefighters told the New Haven Register. “The exhibits were protected at the scene.”

Two CT Transit workers were hospitalized as a precaution after being exposed to the smoke. Additionally, two firefighters were also taken to hospital for treatment for heat exhaustion.

Learn more about regulatory review here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan




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