Tips from Training: Lithium-Ion Battery Mobility Device Fires
This tip sheet covers some of the same tactical considerations of the previous tip sheets, but also covers scene preservation prior to arrival of fire marshals and what to do after the fire has been knocked down.
The FDNY has also produced a safety video to educate the public on how to charge, store and use lithium-ion batteries safely.
Recently, the FDNY issued Hazmat 20 – Lithium-Ion Mobility Device Fires. This tip will discuss operations for Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries or mobility devices involved in fire. All members are encouraged to review
the link/QR to the FD Books provided above for further review.
Lithium-ion batteries or mobility devices involved in fire:
- Use a handline to extinguish the fire; flames from a Lithium-Ion Battery should be knocked down with copious amounts of water. Water application should continue until conditions are dormant-that is when no more flame, gas or smoke is being released from the battery or mobility device.
- Li-Ion Batteries or mobility devices which are involved in fire, found within a fire area, or subjected to elevated temperatures MUST be moved from the area in which members will be operating. This should be accomplished before overhaul operations begin.
- When a Li-Ion Battery or mobility device fire involves a 10-45 (any code) all members operating should be aware of the need for scene preservation prior to the arrival of the Fire Marshals.
- When possible, prior to overhaul in the area of the lithium-ion battery or mobility device, members should conduct a diligent search for stray battery cells. These individual cells may have become dislodged from the battery pack during the fire or by the hose stream during extinguishment.
Recently, the FDNY issued Hazmat 20 – Lithium-Ion Mobility Device Fires. This tip will discuss operations for Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries or mobility devices involved in fire after the fire has been knocked down. All members are encouraged to review the link/QR to the FD Books provided above for further review.
- Firefighters must not place the Li-Ion battery pack or cells in the pocket of their bunker coat or pants.
- When possible, members should move the Li-Ion batteries by use of a nonconductive
tool, a shovel with a wooden handle or other method that doesn’t require members to
carry in their hands.
- he batteries or mobility device should be moved to the following location in order of preference until it can be appropriately over packed/mitigated by Hazmat Company 1 or a Hazmat Tech Unit:
- Bathroom tub in fire apartment, with all cells fully submerged in water.
- Sink large enough that all cells can be fully submerged in water.
- Garbage pail or bucket large enough that all cells are capable of being fully submerged
- When the above options are not practical, the Incident Commander may remove the batteries or mobility device via a fire apartment window.
When the battery or mobility device is in a location that makes removal via fire apartment
window not practical, such as in an upper story apartment in a high-rise building, the Incident
Commander may move the batteries or mobility device to a different location on the fire floor
and ensure the batteries are protected by a charged hoseline. The charged hoseline will remain
in place until overpacking/mitigation procedures have been completed by a Haz Tech Unit.
A lithium-ion battery or mobility device shall NOT be moved in an elevator or via stairs unless
overpacked (mitigated) by Haz Mat Technicians and approved by the IC.