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Emergency Response Guides for Electric Vehicles and Lithium-ion Batteries

May contain: person and helmet

Additional Information Concerning Lithium-ion Batteries:

Four Hazmat Lessons from a Weeks-Long Battery Fire

  • Most lithium-ion battery fires start from damaged batteries and overcharging. They must be removed as soon as charging is done. The process is called thermal runaway; they basically heat up too fast and then burn. All lithium-ion batteries present this risk.
  • For Tesla/EV fires, it only takes about 60 GPM to cool the batteries and fight the battery fire in the battery area. It’s about cooling, not about water quantity.
  • The battery will fail violently when they start the fire or when it is impinged by fire. They will also cause the case or container to fail as well.
  • Battery fires or batteries that have been heated but not failed are a hazmat-type clean-up.
  • Batteries have been known to fail three weeks after fire impingement, and FDNY has had several batteries rekindle.

For more information, visit this FEMA site.

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