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Lithium Ion Battery Fires - SFDs National Seminar


Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 9:02 a.m.

The Spokane Fire Department (SFD) is hosting a national seminar October 25-27 (this week) focused on Lithium Ion Battery (LIB) Fires. The primary motivation for bringing leaders and scientists from all over the country to SFD was to coalesce around gaps in research and understanding resulting from fires involving LIBs and the dangers they present.

Additionally, the catalyst for SFD's interest resulted from a recent experience at the second alarm fire in the north Spokane Home Depot Fire on May 9th, where copious amounts of batteries were burned, damaged, and involved in the fire.

The scientists on-site this week are from the following agencies:

Underwriter Laboratories (UL), NIST, ATF Fire Research, WA Department of Ecology, WA National Guard 10th CST, ATF Fire Research, and SFD Training Division.

Cooperating agencies include FDNY, Seattle Fire, US Department of Transportation, Central Pierce Fire, and Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

The specific experiments will explore the study runoff and plume resulting from LIBs. We already know that the smoke emanating from these fires includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harmful gases, and heavy metals--all of which kill humans. The experiments intend to improve our awareness and help develop techniques to manage the changing environment.

In addition to the on-site experiments, the three days are full of discussions on LIB's emerging threats, tactics, and regulatory best practices.

Understanding the risks will allow us to apply the best strategies to protect our community and improve the survivability of firefighters and victims. If you would like to visit or need more information, please call or text me (509-435-7001).

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