With the growing prevalence of energy storage systems (ESS), fire departments have responded to an increasing number of associated incidents, presenting new challenges for firefighters. At Responding to Residential ESS Incidents: Tactical Considerations, an educational session on Monday morning at the NFPA Conference & Expo® (C&E), Sean DeCrane, IAFF Health and Safety Operational Services; Adam Barowy, UL Solutions; and Alex Schraiber, UL Solutions, provided an overview of two research projects that establish size-up and tactical considerations for responding to residential ESS failures.
DeCrane, who served as the primary presenter, reinforced that first responders need to be adequately prepared to respond to incidents now and in the future as these technologies continue to advance and change. “There are no hard and fast rules for doing this,” DeCrane said. “We need to give firefighters the best information that can be provided so that we can help them make informed decisions that enable them to protect themselves and their crews.”
An NFPA Journal article, “ESS Prep,” by Angelo Verzoni highlights improved ESS training and regulation as keys to a safe coexistence with this evolving and complex hazard.
In addition, a series of ESS educational sessions hosted at C&E are addressing ESS and lithium-ion batteries from various angles. Today’s Energy Storage Systems and Microgrid Resiliency session covers what constitutes a smart grid and how it can help achieve electrical system resiliency in small-, medium-, and large-scale applications. Attendees will hear how energy management systems are finding more use in business today and how NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, can help manage and control electrical loads.
ESS Lifecycle Considerations: From Pre-Planning to Decommissioning, also held today, features a diverse group of experts discussing the roles, responsibilities, and considerations for ESS projects over their lifecycle, from the preplanning phase to design, installation, and operation to decommissioning (with and without failure). This panel discussion offers perspectives from manufacturers, AHJs, FPEs/consultants, developer/installer/maintainers, and insurance and fire service.
Important Notice: Any opinion expressed in this column (blog, article) is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the official position of NFPA or its Technical Committees. In addition, this piece is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.