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NTSB says car battery fires pose dangers to 1st responders – NEWPAPER24

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NTSB says car battery fires pose dangers to 1st responders

2021-01-13 16:27:09


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DETROIT (AP) – Electrical car fires pose security dangers to first responders and tips from producers about easy methods to take care of them have been insufficient, in line with U.S. investigators.

There are additionally gaps in business security requirements and analysis on high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires, particularly in high-speed, extreme crashes, the Nationwide Transportation Security Board stated Wednesday.

The company, which has no enforcement powers and might solely make suggestions, referred to as for producers to put in writing vehicle-specific response guides for combating battery fires and limiting chemical thermal runaway and reignition. The rules additionally ought to embody data on easy methods to safely retailer autos with broken lithium-ion batteries.

The suggestions come at a time when automakers are rolling out a number of new electrical car fashions, with many within the business perceiving an inflection level in switching from gasoline energy to cleaner electrical energy.

The company in its Wednesday report additionally requested firefighter and auto towing associations to tell members about hearth dangers and easy methods to take care of power remaining within the battery after a crash, and on easy methods to safely retailer a car with a broken battery.

And it’s asking the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration to incorporate the supply of an emergency response information when it calculates five-star car security scores.

NHTSA additionally ought to construct a coalition to analysis methods to de-energies batteries and scale back hazards from thermal runaway, a chemical response that causes uncontrolled battery temperature and strain will increase.

The NTSB began investigating battery fires after crashes and fires in Lake Forest and Mountain View, California, and in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in 2017 and 2018. It additionally probed a non-crash hearth in West Hollywood, California. Three of the batteries reignited after fires had been extinguished.

All 4 autos had been made by Tesla, which is the top-selling electrical car maker within the U.S.

“The dangers of electrical shock and battery reignition/hearth come up from the ‘stranded’ power that is still in a broken battery,” the company stated.

In an 80-page report the NTSB wrote {that a} overview of emergency response tips from 36 producers discovered that every one had methods to mitigate the chance of high-voltage shocks together with strategies for disconnecting the battery. However not one of the guides spoke to limiting the chance of power saved within the batteries, similar to procedures for minimizing reignition or directions on the place and easy methods to spray water to chill the batteries, the company stated.

One approach to take care of broken batteries is to tug them from the car and soak them in a saltwater bathtub to discharge the power, the NTSB wrote.

Messages had been left Wednesday looking for remark from NHTSA, Tesla, the Nationwide Fireplace Safety Affiliation and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a big automaker commerce group.

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