jump to main menu jump to subject menu jump to content jump to footer
Bureau of Fire Standards and Training

Electric Vehicle Fire Safety

Electric Vehicle Fire Safety

All vehicles—both electric and gasoline-powered—have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash. Just as special techniques have been developed to respond and extinguish fires in gasoline-powered vehicles, first responders, tow truck operators, and the public need to be aware of the specific attributes and characteristics of fires involving electric and hybrid vehicles.

The information provided on this page is intended to serve as a general reference for first responders and vehicle operators. Individual manufacturers should be consulted regarding specific information on a particular make or model vehicle.

Quick Tips for First Responders:

  1. Identify the type and model of vehicle so that they know where the battery is and how to best shut down the vehicle if possible.
  2. Be prepared to use more water for electric vehicle fires, and note that fires could also be burning inside one of the protective compartments, invisible to the first responder.
  3. Be aware of the possibility that a lithium-ion battery fire could reignite. If not entirely discharged, the stored energy inside the battery could cause a second or even third fire.
  4. Keep electric vehicles that have been in an accident away from buildings or other structures because of the possibility of reignition.
  5. Understand that electric vehicles are silent and may still be on even if it’s not audible. The voltage from the vehicle could shock a first responder.
  6. Always wear self-contained breathing apparatuses when dealing with a lithium-ion battery fire as some vehicles can emit toxic vapors.

Additional Resources for First Responders:

NHTSA Interim Guidance for Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Equipped With High Voltage Batteries: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/interimguide_
electrichybridvehicles_012012_v3.pdf

Quick Sheet:
https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/interimguide_
emergencyresponse_012012_v3.pdf

Electric Vehicle Safety Training (NFPA): http://www.evsafetytraining.org

A nationwide program through the National Fire Protection Association to help firefighters and other first responders effectively deal with emergency situations involving electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. The Web site hosts an EV blog, calendar of events, training videos, emergency field guides from 19 auto manufacturers, research reports, as well as an online training course.

Individual Vehicle Emergency Response Guides:
https://www.nfpa.org/Training-and-Events/By-topic/Alternative-Fuel-Vehicle-Safety-Training/Emergency-Response-Guides

Bulletin on Submerged Hybrid/Electric Vehicles:
https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Code-or-topic-fact-sheets/BulletinSubmergedHybridEV.pdf

Tesla First Responders Information: https://www.tesla.com/firstresponders

Links for information about...

F L O R I D A   S T A T U T E   &   A D M I N I S T R A T I V E   C O D E :  6 3 3 , F . S.   &   6 9 A , F . A . C .
F E S H E   (F I R E   &   E M E R G E N C Y   S E R V I C E S   H I G H E R   E D U C A T I O N)
T H E   A - L I S T :  S I G N - U P   T O   R E C E I V E   T H E   L A T E S T   N E W S   F R O M   B F S T.


 

The Bureau of Firefighter Standards and Training is accredited by the National Board  on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard). ProBoard LOGO

Accreditation is the stamp of approval from a third party (Pro Board) review of the Bureau of Firefighter Standards and Training's certification system. The review includes all aspects of certification testing including; completeness, fairness, security, validity and correlation to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

Click on the ProBoard Logo for a listing of the accredited Bureau of Firefighter Standards and Training certification programs.

 

 

NFA Managing Officer Program Click this image for information about the NFA's Managing Officer Program

Click HERE for information on the
NFA's Managing Officer Program

Free Access to NFPA's Codes and Standards