First Responders Guide to Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage System Incidents

A screenshot of the first page of ACP's July 2023 U.S. Codes and Standards for Battery Energy Storage Systems document.

This document provides guidance to first responders for incidents involving energy storage systems (ESS).

The guidance is specific to ESS with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, but some elements may apply to other technologies also. For the purposes of this guide, a facility is assumed to be subject to the 2023 revision of NFPA 855 [B8]1 and to have a battery housed in a number of outdoor enclosures with total energy exceeding 600 kWh, thus triggering requirements for a hazard mitigation analysis (HMA), fire and explosion testing in accordance with UL 9540A [B14], emergency planning, and annual training. (The 2021 International Fire Code (IFC) [B2] has language that has been largely harmonized with NFPA 855, so the requirements are similar.)

This guide provides recommendations for pre-incident planning and incident response. Additional tutorial content is provided for each of the hazard categories. The Bibliography provides references to applicable codes and standards, and other documents of interest.

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