NFPA launches new guidelines to promote electric vehicle charging safety at home

April 18, 2024

NFPA introduces new electric vehicle safety resources

On April 17, 2024, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) unveiled a new set of free resources and guidelines designed to inform the public about the risks associated with electric vehicle (EV) fires and promote safe charging practices at home.

This initiative comes as the adoption of electric vehicles continues to rise, with global sales topping 10 million in 2022 and further increases anticipated.

The NFPA’s latest campaign focuses on educating consumers about the fire hazards of EVs, particularly those linked to lithium-ion batteries, which are the predominant energy source for these vehicles.

Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA, emphasized the importance of public education: “It is widely known that electric vehicles provide environmental and cost-effective benefits.

“However, as fires involving EVs are reported in the news, concerns about the risks they pose persist.

“Through advocacy efforts that highlight our new online resources and information, NFPA is working to better educate the public about the risks associated with EVs and other devices that use lithium-ion batteries, along with ways to use them safely.”

Enhanced online materials and training for EV owners

The NFPA’s newly launched online portal includes detailed information about lithium-ion battery safety, EV maintenance, and practical tips for safe home charging.

These resources, accessible to both safety educators and consumers, feature a safety tip sheet, social media cards, and a comprehensive training course aimed at addressing common misconceptions about EV ownership, such as safety features, charging options, and battery longevity.

Practical tips for safe home charging

To ensure safety while charging electric vehicles at home, the NFPA recommends several precautions.

Homeowners should first consult a qualified electrician to verify that their electrical systems can accommodate an EV charger.

The NFPA advises installing charging equipment in areas away from heavy traffic and flammable materials.

Other safety tips include using devices approved by a recognized testing laboratory, adhering strictly to manufacturer instructions, regularly inspecting chargers and cords for damage, avoiding the use of extension cords or multiple plugs with the charger, and keeping charging equipment out of reach of children and pets.

Additionally, it is essential to protect charging stations from water ingress.

For further information on electric vehicle fire safety and to download the free safety resources, please visit nfpa.org/evsafetyinfo.

Additional details on the safe use of other lithium-ion battery-operated devices, such as computers, smartphones, e-bikes, and e-scooters, are available at nfpa.org/lithiumionsafety and nfpa.org/ebikes.

FSJA comment

The NFPA’s proactive steps towards enhancing electric vehicle safety are timely, given the growing number of EV users and the associated risks.

By providing accessible, thorough educational materials and practical tips, the NFPA addresses the immediate safety concerns and fosters a safer long-term environment for the increasing number of electric vehicle owners.

This initiative reflects the necessary evolution of safety standards in response to new technological adoptions and is a critical component in ensuring that the benefits of electric vehicles are matched by equivalent safety measures.

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