With the rapidly increasing number of electric vehicles (EV’s) on the roads today, it is important for firefighters to know how to safely respond to an incident involving one. That’s why New Brunswick firefighters are being trained on how to effectively tackle fires involving EV’s.
While EV’s are extremely safe and pose no greater risk of catching fire than a gas car, as pointed out by fire captain David Candy, fires involving EV’s and their high voltage battery packs burn differently than regular car fires.
According to Candy, it takes up 230 gallons of water to put out a gas car fire. An fire involving an electric car may need up to 10x as much water as that, up to 2,600 gallons.
The reason so much more water is needed is because the batteries, especially in a Tesla, are so well sealed and compact that it takes much longer for the water to seep into the cells and extinguish the fire.
It is for this reason that the training focuses on how to immobilize and disable the battery system, something which if they don’t take training like this would be very difficult to tackle at the scene of an incident.