Lithium battery fires are often dangerous and difficult to control
Many fire departments and first responders lack training in relation to EVs
The program will begin in Michigan before moving to other states
General Motors announced it will provide training courses to fire and police departments around the United States in order to improve their capacity to fight battery fires.
Electric vehicle fires are often talked about despite their relative rarity. This is because those types of fires are more dangerous and more difficult to control than fires fueled by gasoline.
Since lithium batteries have only begun being used in vehicles over the last ten years, fire departments have much less experience in fighting electric vehicle fires than gasoline vehicle fires.
This is why General Motors will create a program to inform the first responders about the specifics of lithium battery fires and the best ways to put them out.
This pilot program will begin in southeast Michigan, close to the automaker’s headquarters in Detroit, before being expanded to the rest of the state and eventually to the entire country.
Instead of creating individual task forces in each state, GM will have a dedicated team travel to different locations across the country and teach local first and second responders as part of larger events.
The first events where this will take place will be in New York, Texas, and Southern California. In order to reach more people quickly, the GM fire safety team will be at the International Association of Fire Chief’s Fire-Rescue International Conference in San Antonio and the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, both of which will be held in April of next year.
With the number of electric vehicles increasing rapidly, fire departments will need to be familiar with the challenges they represent in terms of fire safety in order to be able to do their job safely and effectively.