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Electric Vehicles

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stephen1974
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Electric Vehicles

Post by stephen1974 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:29 pm

Looking for information on Electric Vehicles in regards to fire safety.
Any issues with charging and fire fighting that might come up.
Also charging points and how often electricians should be inspecting them.

Going through IEC61851 for charging points at the moment, just wondering what else is out there. - Oops, no im not, the pdf I had only contaned the index as a 'sample'.

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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Messy » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:52 am

Try this RiscAuthity document

It's from the FPA and a really good place to start. I have just written a EV Fire Safety Policy based on it and feedback.from our FM staff

https://www.riscauthority.co.uk//index. ... icles.html

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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by stephen1974 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:05 pm

Brilliant, thank you.

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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by stephen1974 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:31 pm

Did you look at fire extinguishers and make any recommendations?
I see there is an EV extinguisher (Lith ex) now but i've never seen one anywhere.

I had a look at an ev msds which said dry powder, sand or large amounts of water but not small amounts of water as there will be an initial reaction to water. I dont think a single extinguisher would be suitable so best avoid and go with dry powder or possibly this new ev extinguisher.

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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Messy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:53 am

We will not have any fire extinguishers for external charging points

For internal, subject to a risk assessment, where necessary, will will ensure automatic fire suppression is in place. This means extending a sprinkler system in one building and adding water mist systems to a limited area of car parks in 2 other buildings (over charging points). I must stress that there are significant business continuity reasons for the water mist systems in these 2 x buildings and this would not be a default control measure.

We will avoid high energy rapid chargers inside buildings

But mostly, there will be separation zones between charging points and combustible elements of construction (stores, combustible walls and externally, composite wall panels with combustible cores)

General purpose dry powder extinguishers will be supplied for internal parking, the aim being to knock down a fire before it effects the lithium battery. Our training strategy only allows staff to attempt 'small & simple' fires. A lithium battery alight in an EV is neither and there's no point supplying a class D specialist dry powder as its impossible to apply it onto the battery when its fitted in/under the car. This is definitely an evacuate and call 999 job by then


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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Andyblue » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:11 am

Hi Messy, great explanation and a big business commitment to EVs. Out of interest, have the costs (financial and CO) being factored into any of the benefits of them. Can EV park inside at places other
than the charging points or is the charging seen ax the only area in need of action.

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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by witsd » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:13 am

Agree 100% with Messy. Car fires in general are terrifying, and adding a lithium battery to the mix is likely to lead to a 'contain until starved of fuel' situation that no extinguisher is going to be much use for.

Any 'special' extinguishers are likely to be a) unfamiliar and b) liable to cause overconfidence. Leave and let the professionals do their job.
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by stephen1974 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:17 am

Having just watched a video of a car battery going up. Suppression is the only answer. The reaction is far to violent. Unfortunately, no one is going to install a suppression system, so Leave it is. I think that will be a new slide in the training program.

Work bays are going to be interesting as the violence of a thermal runaway could easily set other things on fire but there will be little space for proper seperation.
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by bernicarey » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:08 pm

I think there are two aspects to consider, a charging fault causing a battery to explode/ignite while still taking charge, and a car that is just stood there and a battery manufacturing fault causes ignition.
It might seem unlikely, but look at the number of phones and laptops etc that have caught fire when not on charge.

I'm not sure a water mist or sprinkler system would suffice, unless it was designed with the car batteries in mind. Lithium and water don't mix unless the water is in huge volumes.
As I understand the use of water with a Lithium battery fire, the water is principally to keep the adjoining/nearby cells cool enough to stop them reaching thermal runaway, while the actual cell that has gone into runaway burns itself out.
I can't see a sprinkler/mist system doing that with the cells tightly packed into a car structure.... .scratch
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Messy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:24 pm

Suppression is aimed at preventing or slowing down fire spread from the car and not extinguishing the fire.

We will be installing 2 x water mist systems in two different buildings as the business continuity risk is high

We will also be installing smoke detection above EV charging bays.

The Responsible Person has a target of achieving 20% EVs in their fleet over the next 8 years (unrealistic but it ticks a few sustainability boxes!)

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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by bernicarey » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:33 am

Messy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:24 pm
Suppression is aimed at preventing or slowing down fire spread from the car and not extinguishing the fire.
I think key factor are going to be response times, access and water supply for the attending FRS crews.
An EV fire in a subterranean basement garage is going to be a difficult event. :shock:


A good video here explaining some of the issues and the amount of water required to deal with an incident.
I think I'll log it as CPD! ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... n5Wf7TlGrU
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Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by witsd » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:12 pm

bernicarey wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:33 am
An EV fire in a subterranean basement garage is going to be a difficult event. :shock:
Plug the drain and let the basement fill up?! :D

Reminds me of when the premises next to my old place's underground car park flooded from Crossrail engineers hitting a water main.

Floating BMWs everywhere.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'

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