E-car fires in underground garages: do they pose a new threat?

Within a little over a year, the proportion of from Electric cars nearly tripled. With the E-mobility at least draws a new danger in Underground garages and Parking garages a: In the worst case, a burning electric car can destroy the entire building. Does that mean you have to park outside soon?
In Kulmbach (Bavaria), Leonberg and Goeppingen (Baden-Württemberg), the city administration closed underground parking for electric cars for several months after devastating fires in cars with internal combustion engines. Politicians, fire protection experts and fire departments are alarmed. “For the renovation We had to remove the building structure after a vehicle fire 300.000 Euro invest, 18th cars were damaged, a Residential complex had to because of the Smoke hazard be evacuated “, explains Frank Hört (CDU), local politician and party leader in Pfinztal near Karlsruhe.
Now the majority in the town hall only want to buy e-cars. That could make the work of the fire brigade more difficult in the future. According to listeners in the 1980sYears built underground car park only good two meter Floor height. Too little to do with one Recovery vehicle a burning electric car to drag out. “Because of the possible consequences of a fire, we no longer want electric cars in parking garages,” says Horte, who is also a fire fighter.

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Ten times the electrical charge than heat

Electric– and Hybrid cars with their lithium-ion batteries burn not more often than gasoline or diesel, but they burn different. After a damageif the battery runs out (thermal runaway) it gives up to Tenfold of the electric charge as warmth free. Tests have shown that the entire interior burns in less than a minute, Flashes of flames as in the exhaust jet of a jet engine lead to a inferno. This creates temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius.

Charging stations can also be dangerous

Even Charging stations can cause one fire in the Parking deck be. “More often goes after vandalism, a technical malfunction or one Cable fire a danger from charging stations, “explains Matthias Bohnert, Fire protection expert at the security specialist Securiton. The decisive factor for the extent of the damage is Fire load of the car, the heat emitted during combustion: plastic panels in the interior, plastic covers in the engine compartment and wider tires lead to a fire load about three times higher than 30 years ago.
Such complex Sources of fire challenge fire brigades. Around 22,000 liters of water are necessary to cool down the battery of a Tesla S, according to fire experts. “One liter of water becomes around 1700 liters hotter Steam“, says Matthias Bohnert,” and he can do it view to the source of the fire. “So the fire brigade in the Dutch town of Alkmaar had to Underground garage fire because of thick smoke and heat Extinguishing robot insert.

Fire regulations not good enough

“That Fire protection problem in underground garages is technically not really solved, “says Susanne Schütz, building expert and member of the state parliament of the FDP in Lower Saxony. Extremes heat and Fire fighting water with strong poisonous Heavy metals could attack the building fabric and endanger the statics of houses. And there are many underground garages in the Downtown area or under residential and office buildings. “The flames attack you House facade with Insulation materials about if a catastrophe threatens “, fears architect Schütz,” there is no binding structural Requirements for fire protection, especially for electric vehicles and charging stations. “For years, the building ministers’ conference has been advising on an amendment to the model garage ordinance of 2008, which the federal states are based on.

Inclusion of building insurers

The Federal Association of Publicly Appointed, Sworn and Qualified Experts (BVS) advocates sensitive smoke detector, Fire protection inspections and an inclusion of Buildings insurer. The fire protection must already be at the installation The BVS emphasizes that the charging options must be taken into account. In the event of malfunctions, fires could otherwise occur due to the large amounts of electricity. Even outdoors is that possible, if for example one House facade unsatisfactory fireproof insulated has been.
in the commercial New building fire protection for e-cars and wallboxes is usually already from Fire protection planner thought through. So be it for private builders and Property owner good to get advice from a professional. Even if there are no formal requirements for the Improvement of fire protection exist, be it from Self-interest useful to improve the latter. Ultimately, it is the building insurance to inform about the planned installation of charging options for e-cars.

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