Electric vehicle fires pose unique challenges when it comes to putting out the flames. As a result, the Fire and Rescue Department in Malaysia is continuously studying and enhancing its standard operating procedures (SOP) for dealing with these fires. The department’s director general, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin, emphasized the importance of keeping up with new research and technology to ensure the SOP remains effective.
Currently, the primary method of extinguishing electric vehicle fires is through cooling. However, the department has identified certain steps that can help reduce the spread of fire at electric vehicle charging bays (EVCB). These steps include implementing measures such as building parapet walls, isolating EVCBs from normal parking bays, and installing vehicle fire blankets, natural and mechanical ventilation systems, and fire heat detectors or multi-sensor fire detection systems.
One of the challenges in dealing with electric vehicle fires is finding an effective extinguishing media for lithium-ion batteries. According to Abdul Wahab, current research has shown that no extinguishing media is fully effective for such fires. Therefore, the SOP currently relies on using water as a cooling method.
However, it’s worth noting that using water to extinguish electric vehicle fires requires a significant amount of water compared to fires involving conventional vehicles. For instance, early this year, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District in the United States used over 22,000 liters of water to put out a fire on a Tesla car. The fire occurred while the car was traveling on the highway and was eventually extinguished, but the battery cells continued to combust.
In conclusion, the Fire and Rescue Department in Malaysia is committed to regularly reviewing and enhancing its SOP for extinguishing electric vehicle fires. This includes studying new research and technology advancements in the field. By constantly updating their procedures, they aim to better protect both responders and the general public in the event of electric vehicle fires.
– The Star: [source]
– Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District: [source]