FDNY Shares Fire, Hazmat Lessons on Lithium-Ion Batteries

Reprinted from Firefighter Close Calls

With permission, we are passing along a Google Drive link to information from the recent FDNY symposium.

Here are some overall takeaways from the two days of training:

  • A new Emergency EV Stop device will be released to the fire service in the next six weeks in the United States. It is already being used by FDNY after the incident where an FDNY firefighter was pinned and their leg broken. They recommend these for all crash scenes. No price was given but it’s basically a dummy plug that shuts the vehicle down.
  • Lithium-ion battery fires are something the fire service is woefully unprepared for. FDNY has had 250 this year alone.

Also Read:

Illegal Lithium Battery Transport Burn Just Before Going to Sea

Four Tips to Prepare for Energy Storage System Incidents

Four Hazmat Lessons from a Weeks-Long Battery Fire

  • Most lithium-ion battery fires start from damaged batteries and overcharging. They must be removed as soon as charging is done. The process is called thermal runaway; they basically heat up too fast and then burn. All lithium-ion batteries present this risk.
  • For Tesla/EV fires, it only takes about 60 GPM to cool the batteries and fight the battery fire in the battery area. It’s about cooling, not about water quantity.
  • The battery will fail violently when they start the fire or when it is impinged by fire. They will also cause the case or container to fail as well.
  • Battery fires or batteries that have been heated but not failed are a hazmat-type clean-up.
  • Batteries have been known to fail three weeks after fire impingement, and FDNY has had several batteries rekindle.

Also attached are the FDNY response SOG and a good “what you need to know” article on the topic. Thanks to the FDNY Training Division for sharing this information. 

Here is the link:


Here is additional and updated information from FDNY and the google drive: 

Lithium-Ion Batteries: Challenges for the Fire Service. 

The FDNY foundation symposium was presented with our partners from the NFPA and UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute. 

The Symposium Google Drive includes:

Presentation Summaries and videos.

Instructor Bios

Additional training offerings from UL FRSI & NFPA

Vendor and product information discussed during the symposium and who supported the symposium.

FDNY publications including “Tips From Training” WNYF articles, training videos and FDNY Pro Podcasts.  

The FDNY and its partners are presenting this material to inform the community about this new challenge for the fire service.  

Here is the link


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