Electric vehicle fires in focus at The Emergency Services Show


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Electric vehicle fires and their innovative solutions are set to be a focal point at this year’s Emergency Services Show (ESS) and the accompanying Emergency Tech Show.

Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from 19-20 September, the event will delve into modern preventative and firefighting methods.

These not only address electric vehicle (EV) fires but also those related to lithium batteries present in e-scooters, e-bikes, and other electronic devices.

Electric vehicles and their emerging risks

One of the key discussions titled “What have we learned so far about lithium-ion battery fires?” will be led by Professor Paul Christensen from Newcastle University. He will present:

  • An overview of the main hazards of lithium-ion battery fires.
  • The risks associated with toxic gases, the potential for vapour cloud explosions, the dangers of rapid fire spread, and the infamous rocket-like flames.
  • Effective fire suppression techniques and standard operating guidelines to address these hazards.

Paul Trew from the Institution of Fire Engineers and James King from LifeSafe Technologies will address the “Thermal runaway:

The burning issue with electric vehicles”. This session will unpack the process of thermal runaway in lithium-ion batteries and the innovative products available to counteract such incidents.

Innovative solutions to tackle electric vehicle fires

Several exhibitors at the ESS are set to present their advanced solutions:

  • Emergency One will introduce systems for cooling batteries during an EV fire and a submersion unit for EV batteries.
  • Venari will display their Vanquish lithium-ion extinguishing unit designed to prevent battery reignition.
  • FireWise UK Learning Academy is ready to exhibit their training modules tailored for EVs and other alternatively fuelled vehicles.
  • Vimpex will unveil its fire blanket specifically for EV fires and the Emergency Plug.
  • Fire Containers is set to launch its Electric Vehicle Containment Unit, a unique mobile unit for EV incidents.
  • Angloco plans to feature a reusable car fire blanket compatible with various vehicle types.
  • Cemo Safe Storage has its range for storing, charging, and transporting lithium batteries.
  • Padtex Insulation will present fire blankets for EV battery fires.

In the realm of solar safety, Jactone will demonstrate its PVSTOP solar Panel Block Out, an exclusive solution for rendering PV systems safe during emergencies.

A shift towards electric: What it means for emergency services

As emergency services increasingly adopt electric and hybrid vehicles, Jason McComb, CEO of The Association of Vehicle Installers, will discuss the implications for installers and the innovations spurred by this transition.

Furthermore, Andy Butterfield of National Highways will tackle the road safety challenges posed by EVs and the necessary changes in road recovery and reopening strategies.

Graeme Warnell from EV-EXBOX will highlight the risks associated with EV charging that, according to him, are being widely overlooked.

His talk will emphasise the importance of robust EV infrastructure design to safeguard public safety and the environment.

Additional highlights from the Emergency Services Show

The Innovation Theatre at the event will feature insights on the future of emergency response technologies.

Attendees can anticipate updates on the digital ambulance pilot project, automated defibrillators, robots, drones, and novel first responder uniforms.

Rowan Poulter from Gravity Industries will share how jet suits could redefine medical response times in hard-to-reach locations.

The Emergency Tech Keynote seminar programme promises thought-provoking discussions on the tech challenges faced by modern emergency services.

Alongside, multiple seminar theatres like the Lessons Learned Leaders’ Summit and the Policing Theatre will provide attendees with rich learning experiences.

Visitors can avail of free entry and parking facilities. The venue offers direct connections to Birmingham International Station, Birmingham Airport, and the UK motorway network.

IFSJ Comment

The topic of electric vehicle fires and their management presents a timely and significant subject of concern.

As the world sees a surge in electric vehicle adoption, understanding and mitigating the risks associated with their usage become paramount.

The Emergency Services Show offers a comprehensive platform for industry leaders, innovators, and emergency personnel to come together, share insights, and pave the way for safer EV usage.

The line-up of speakers and topics underscores the urgency and commitment of professionals to address these challenges head-on.

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