English: Electric Vehicle (EV) used as an alternative of energy conservation of oil Date	28 March 2014, 17:07:28 Source	Own work Author	BP63Vincent
26 Mar 2023

State of Virginia makes special EV fire risk assessment training mandatory for firefighters


Virginia lawmakers have passed a new mandate that requires first responders to receive specialized training on the fire risks associated with electric vehicles. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2023, and applies to all firefighters, police officers, and other emergency personnel who may respond to vehicle fires.

Virginia firefighters will soon be required to complete a training program starting next year about the risk of electric vehicle fires, according to a press release. 

House Bill 2451  requires the executive director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs to develop a training program for electric vehicle fires, developed and available by July, 1, 2024, according to the bill.

All firefighters, including volunteer firefighters, must complete the training by Dec. 1, 2025.

The training will cover the unique safety hazards posed by electric vehicles, such as high-voltage batteries and the potential for electrical arcing during a fire. Responders will also learn how to safely extricate occupants from electric vehicles and how to handle and extinguish battery fires.

The mandate was introduced in response to the growing popularity of electric vehicles and concerns about first responders' ability to safely respond to EV fires. While electric vehicles are generally considered safe, they do pose unique risks that require specialized training to mitigate.

Virginia is one of the first states to require this type of training, joining a growing number of states and countries that have recognized the need for specialized electric vehicle training for first responders. The training is expected to enhance the safety of both first responders and the public and facilitate the wider adoption of electric vehicles in Virginia


100 gallons for a regular car fire vs 10,000 gallons + for an EV fire

The future training program will greatly help firefighters better understand electric vehicle fires and the best ways to extinguish them, according to  William Boger, District 5 vice president and communications director for the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters.

Firefighters use approximately 50 gallons to 100 gallons of water to extinguish a regular internal combustion engine, or gasoline, vehicle fire, while electric vehicles require about 10,000 gallons of water, according to Boger.

“They are very stubborn and very difficult to extinguish,” he said.

Firefighters also need to be aware that the battery is not necessarily finished burning just because the fire is finally put out, according to Boger.

“The problem with these cars is you have to put the fire out, then you have to continuously cool the battery,” Boger said.

Some electric vehicle batteries will reignite on the way to a junkyard if the battery is not properly cooled and observed after the fire is put out, according to Boger.

Some batteries can even catch fire two to three days later, according to Doug Reynolds, battalion chief of the Henrico County Division of Fire.

“You may have to have several tankers bringing you water, so it’s not the easy, you know, fire that it used to be,” Reynolds said.

Dry chemicals and fire blankets have been used, but are not considered as effective as water, according to William Boger.


Photo Credit: (Above)

Wikipedia Commons licence for a photo of an Electric Vehicle (EV) 

Date 28 March 2014, 17:07:28

SourceOwn work