• Press Release

August 18, 2021

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and National Fire Service College of India Agree to Collaborate and Advance Understanding of Battery Fire Safety in India

NFSC Director Ramesh Kumar, Electrochemical Safety Research Institute Director Judy Jeevarajan and others joined the virtual signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU)

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Aug. 18, 2021 – Global safety science leader Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and India’s prestigious National Fire Service College (NFSC) have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding designed to promote greater collaboration and help advance lithium-ion battery fire safety and standardization in India. This agreement furthers the public safety mission of both organizations as battery power gains traction in India, given the country’s increased commitment to electric transportation systems and new energy grid storage installations.

The two organizations signed the memorandum of understanding on July 30 as part of an ongoing fire research study titled “Battery Fires: Study of Response Strategy of Indian Fire Services.” The memorandum not only supports the study but also calls for a variety of lithium-ion safety training and knowledge-sharing events to be held in conjunction with the NFSC, an Institute of Excellence for training fire and emergency service professionals that is based in Nagpur, India. Moreover, the agreement calls for Underwriters Laboratories and the NFSC to explore collaborative opportunities with other organizations responsible for regulatory guidance related to battery fires in electric mobility (e-mobility) and grid energy storage systems.

“Given India’s accelerated use of lithium-ion batteries, it is critical for the nation’s fire services to be prepared with the right knowledge, equipment and infrastructure to handle any emergency fire situations,” said Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, director of the Underwriters Laboratories Electrochemical Safety Research Institute. “This collaboration is a major step towards creating battery fire safety awareness.”

The NFSC memorandum builds upon an ongoing partnership between Underwriters Laboratories and the Government of India; additional collaborations include a separate memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year with the Bureau of Indian Standards, which aims to strengthen India’s standardization system. The NFSC agreement, with its focus on fires related to battery-powered vehicles and grid storage installations, reflects wide-ranging initiatives launched by the Government of India to promote an e-mobility ecosystem.

“India has been making major advancements in both the e-mobility and renewable energy sectors,” NFSC Director Ramesh Kumar said. “We are working with Underwriters Laboratories to proactively prepare for the safety hazards that could arise in lithium-ion battery emergencies.”

Along with plans for collaborative fire safety research, Underwriters Laboratories and the NFSC agreed in the memorandum to kick off their partnership with a virtual seminar in September that will bring together key fire safety stakeholders, including those in fire services, academia, associations, standards organizations and research institutes, among others.

Under the terms of the agreement, an Underwriters Laboratories battery safety expert will lead a training workshop in November on the various safety aspects of lithium-ion batteries and discussions will begin on the development of a battery fire safety NFSC course curriculum.

“Many of today’s technological challenges and opportunities call for international collaboration,” said Dr. Chris Cramer, Underwriters Laboratories senior vice president and chief research officer. “Our partnership with the NFSC represents the kind of international effort we need for progress towards a safer, more sustainable future.”

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit UL.org.

About National Fire Service College

The National Fire Service College, Nagpur, was established in 1956 and is one of the institutes of the Disaster Management Division functioning under the Director General (Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, with the aim of providing education and training in fire engineering and technology to the fire service professionals of the country in advanced learnings of fire prevention and protection, firefighting and rescue, life safety and emergency management and creating uniformity in preparedness and response tactics for fire service organisations and their management across the country. With state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities available at NFSC, the students and participants are exposed to perform experiments, hands-on exercises, drills, demonstrations and rigorous physical training sessions. The college is at its threshold to become an Institute of Excellence in academics, training, innovation, research and development in the field of fire engineering and technology.