Posted on 17/04/2024 in Electric & Electronic Transport Fire Safety 2024
Batteries, technologies and fire safety

Fire fighter suggests to anticipate fire safety in new materials, rather than trying to deal with consequences. Lithium ion batteries, lightweight timber and steel construction, new polymers: these all bring new fire risks for society and challenges for fire fighters. Dr Burton Clark, with fifty years of firefighting and expert experience, says that to date, society’s approach has been to roll out new technologies and materials and then let fire fighters deal with the consequences. He cites as an example a claimed breakthrough in polymers producing 2-dimensional polymer materials “lightweight and stronger than steel … could be used as a building material for bridges or other structures”.  But who is thinking about the possible consequences if the material burns?

A second article summarises electrical vehicle fires, based on a 60 page review (HERE), noting that they occur statistically less often than for internal combustion engine vehicle but pose specific fire hazards and extinction challenges. Safety is a key objective in EV and battery development, with physical battery protection, electronic battery control and monitoring and new battery technologies (LFP lithium iron phosphate, as already widely used, and possibly in the future solid-state batteries).

“Electric Vehicle Fires: An Overview and Analysis”, Fire & Risk Analysis, read on LinkedIn

“Lithium’s looming legacy”, B. Clark, and “The dynamics of EV fires”, J. Gallo, in International Fire Safety Journal (IFSJ), vol. 03, issue n°34, March 2024

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