July 14, 2023
Fire Safety Research Institute on Fire Sprinkler Podcast
Steve Kerber, vice president and executive director of the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), recently appeared on Fire Sprinkler Podcast, a podcast dedicated to educating the community on the benefits of having fire sprinkler protection and sharing information on the latest technology in the fire protection industry.
Kerber called lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery fires one of the greatest challenges of our generation. He noted that everybody wants to know and learn about how to prevent and fight Li-ion battery fires – including a recent incident at an e-bike store in New York City where four people died – but there isn’t a lot of information out there right now, and FSRI is trying to help the industry catch up by conducting research and sharing their findings.
He said fire industry officials and firefighters often come to FSRI asking about the conditions of Li-ion battery fires:
“The questions posed to us were, ‘... We're seeing well advanced fires, we're seeing windows blown out, we're seeing walls displaced, and we're seeing fatalities like we haven't seen before. What's happening? What's going on before we get there?’ So we took the houses that we had built that kind of replicate an apartment in New York City or single family house and started sourcing scooters from the same places that they were seeing incidents with in New York City … we put one in the living room, put one in the bedroom and just overheated it, overcharged it similar to what the incidents they saw were and looked at the catastrophic outcomes of those fires.”
FSRI, in partnership with the Fire Department of the City of New York, researches fire safety hazards of Li-ion battery-powered e-Mobility devices in homes.