Battery Fires Pose New Risks to Firefighters – Scientific American

Wider deployment also means a greater chance of inadequate safety precautions, adding to the urgency of establishing codes governing energy storage.

One important lesson is to have fire response resources on-site, like dry chemicals and deployment systems. Containment structures like warehouses also have to have better ways to contain flames and prevent hazardous chemicals from leaking.

“This is a very rural area,” said Seelig of Kahuku. “By the time you get enough firefighting forces and the right extinguishing sources, the fire is going to progress quite a bit.”

Another critical factor is the information gap between energy storage operators and responders. “Those facilities might have an internal fire brigade or response team … but in some instances, there are no on-site people,” said Willette. This means firefighters may have to extinguish a blaze without knowing what chemicals are in play, where the electrical shutoffs are or what kind of fire retardant to use.

Source: Battery Fires Pose New Risks to Firefighters – Scientific American


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