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NHTSA Encourages First Responders to Review its Guidelines for Incidents Involving Electric of Hybrid Vehicles Following NTSB Study on Risks Posed by These Vehicles

Last month the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a study entitled “Safety Risks to Emergency Responders from Lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Electric Vehicles.” The IAFC subsequently issued a “Member Alert” on this study.

The study evaluated four electric vehicle fires and showed the risks to first responders posed by the vehicles’ high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. These risks include electric shock and uncontrolled increases in temperature and pressure (thermal runaway), which can lead to hazards such as battery reignition/fire.

Following the NTSB study’s release the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is encouraging first responders to review this study and NHTSA’s guidance on responding to incidents involving electric and hybrid vehicles.

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