Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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EIR 1677 / January 2024 / Electric Vehicles / Lithium-Ion Batteries

Thank you for your request under the Environmental Information Regulations.

We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Questions and final response:

Question 1 - How may fires have your Service attended which involved electric or Hybrid vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries between the following dates 1/1/21 – 1/11/23?

There were a total of 6 fires that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) attended in the stated period above.

Question 2 - Of these fires attended in how many of these was the cause recorded as a fault on the lithium-ion battery?

All of these incidents were noted on the ECFRS recording system as the cause being a fault on the lithium-ion battery.

Question 3 - Of the fires attended how many involved the lithium battery cells?

All of the incidents were noted on the ECFRS recording system as involving lithium-ion battery cells.

Question 4 -Have your Service developed specific operational procedures for dealing with fires involving lithium-ion batteries?

ECFRS have not developed specific operational procedures for dealing with fires involving lithium-ion batteries. ECFRS operates in line with National Operational Guidance. 

Question 5 -Have your service purchased any specific equipment/extinguishing/PPE agents to deal with fires involving lithium-ion batteries?

ECFRS have not purchased any specific equipment/extinguishing/PPE agents to deal with fires involving lithium-ion batteries. ECFRS continue to consider international developments in this field and are yet to identify a proven extinguishing model.

Question 6 -Does your Service provide specific training to operational crews who may be called to fires involving lithium-ion batteries?

ECFRS provides Operational Guidance to operational crews in line with National Operational Guidance.

Question 7 -Where lithium-ion batteries are involved in RTA’s persons trapped, do you adopt any specific measures to isolate the potential battery ignition risk?

ECFRS crews have access to Crash Data at the incident which identifies battery isolation points and methods of isolation. The potential battery ignition risk cannot always be isolated following impact as mechanical impact may begin the heating process whether connected or not.

Question 8 -Have your Service initiated any specific information gathering exercise on fires attended involving lithium ion batteries?

Yes. ECFRS continue to debrief operational incidents, work with manufacturers, and monitor national developments to consider potential solutions.

We hope this information is useful to you.

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Incident and other data is published on our transparency site. Incident Data (essexfire.gov.uk) .

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on our website http://transparency.essex-fire.gov.uk/. All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.

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Thank you for your interest in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, we hope this satisfies your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to apply for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of your original email and should be sent to informationgovernance@essex-fire.gov.uk or sent to our postal address: Internal Review, System & Data Information Governance Team, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

Please ensure you quote the above reference number in all future communications