Rescue and repair vehicles regularly transport broken or damaged cars, including those that have been involved in an accident or fire. If an electric vehicle’s battery is damaged or faulty there is a higher risk of self-ignition.
As such, recovery operators could be faced with an EV fire in the event that they are called to recover any electric vehicle.
A recovery driver should have a certain level of training and knowledge around safe working with electric vehicles and be able to mitigate the hazards that exist around a damaged EV. This should include chemical, fire and electrocution hazards, including the isolation of the high voltage systems from the battery.
When a recovery driver arrives at the scene of an accident or breakdown, they should be prepared to deal with a potential EV self-ignition. If a fire is suspected, an electric vehicle fire blanket should be deployed immediately, and the fire brigade contacted without delay.
The recovery operator and any members of the public should retreat to a safe distance of at least 10 metres away from the vehicle.
There is perhaps an argument for recovery operators to deploy an EV fire blanket before the vehicle is loaded onto the recovery truck. Such action could potentially suppress any fire before it starts and also prevent fire spreading to any other vehicles that may already be on the recovery truck.
Once the damaged electric vehicle arrives at the recovery compound, the electric vehicle fire blanket can remain in place over the vehicle to further prevent any fire starting or spreading until the vehicle is ready to be assessed.