Firefighters prepare for a future battling electric car blazes

Firefighters prepare for a future battling electric car blazes

Firefighters prepare for a future battling electric car blazes

During President Barack Obama’s first term in office, he set a goal of putting 1 million advanced technology vehicles on the nation’s roads by 2015, according to the White House’s official website. Among them would be electric cars, which Obama wanted to see become more affordable. While the president’s goal has yet to be achieved, there is no denying that more motorists are choosing to go electric.

With so many cars zipping down the nation’s roads every day, there is always a chance one or more will catch fire, whether due to a collision or a problem underneath the hood. While firefighter training can prepare rescue workers for situations involving automobiles that run on gasoline, many of them may not know how to handle a Chevy Volt or a similar electric car that has caught fire.

Electric cars do catch on fire
Even if their tanks are not filled with highly flammable gasoline, electric cars can still catch on fire. In fact, 16 Fisker Karma electric vehicles recently caught fire in Port Newark, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Garden State, Business Insider reported. Soon after floodwaters submerged the cars, they caught fire and exploded. According to officials from Fisker Automotive, none of the vehicles were charging at the time.

While the reasons behind these fires is not fully known at this time, firefighter training drills that prepare individuals for these types of scenarios will be essential as more people purchase electric vehicles.

Firefighters receive electric car fire training
Idaho firefighters recently converged on the city of Meridian to learn how to battle blazes involving hybrid and electric vehicles, KTVB reported. This knowledge is essential because while these cars tend to resemble non-hybrid automobiles, looks can be deceiving. They can also prove troublesome to first responders who do not realize they are dealing with an electric vehicle.

“We had one pull off in a field one time and the tires were still spinning, and the car was sitting there, but you couldn’t tell that the car was on,” Jim Hitch of the Parma Volunteer Fire Department and Idaho Emergency Services Training, told the news source. “Since they’re silent, you don’t know that they’re on, so the vehicles can move without you even knowing.”

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