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Proliferation of Lithium-Ion Batteries and New Energy Storage Technology Applications Inspire New Safety Course at UL

July 13, 2016

As demand for and use of lithium-ion batteries increase and the shift towards residential and commercial energy storage is underway globally, organizations and individuals encounter various types of lithium-ion technology in more and more products every day. It is therefore essential that individuals and organizations manage risk and liabilities and plan for potential incidents.

UL, in collaboration with Detroit based Energy Storage Safety Products International (ESSPI), launched a new classroom-based course focused on safety and emergency response for fires related to battery failures. This course is ideal for front-line workers, shipping/receiving and warehouse staff, engineers, manufacturers and consumers.  The  Battery Fire Safety and Emergency Response course is a one- day instructor led program providing expert guidance and instruction on the basics of lithium-ion battery chemistries, failure modes, fire behavior, fire suppression considerations, and the design of  Safety Operating Procedures (SOP) and Emergency Response Procedures (ERP). In addition, this program includes elements of UL’s battery research findings with proven applications and techniques to minimize or manage battery failure incidents. The course is delivered by veteran firefighters and energy storage fire experts who provide a real world perspective that relates to multiple stakeholders. “This type of detailed education places organizations involved in battery manufacturing, logistics, retail, insurance underwriting, and now, energy storage applications, in a much better position to help ensure safety,” said Ronald Butler, ESSPI’s CEO. “This can limit the potential for failure events and ultimately help to protect the battery industry as a whole.”

As with any power source, there are some hazards associated with the use of lithium-ion batteries and other advanced technologies. To address the safe handling, charging, use, storage, transportation, and disposal of batteries, UL previously released an interactive online battery safety curriculum that leverages UL’s safety science & regulatory expertise. The online courses cover many types of batteries, with a focus on the lithium-ion battery technology. Everyone from front-line workers, shipping / receiving and warehouse staff to engineers, manufacturers and consumers can gain valuable insight from these courses. The new Battery Fire Safety and Emergency Response course is a great addition to this safety training portfolio providing expert guidance and instruction through an in person classroom learning experience.

UL aligned with Energy Storage Safety Products International (ESSPI) to provide training and expert guidance on 1st and 2nd responder procedures for battery and energy storage related fires and incidents.  Awareness of the 1st and 2nd responder practices drives creation and integration of an organizations Safety and Emergency Response procedures.  Understanding what causes battery failures, the behavior of fires associated with failure, and what to expect from first and second responders aids in the creation of a comprehensive planning document.  Bringing together multiple stakeholders in an open learning environment fosters collaboration, an understanding of various perspectives and needs, and an open forum for addressing issues of concern.

“With more than 30 years of developing world-class standards in battery safety, we are delighted to add this live face-to-face course to UL’s portfolio of training offerings,” said Ibrahim Jilani, Global Business Manager of Energy Storage at UL. “At UL, we are committed to helping improve the safe working and living environments of people everywhere, and these courses are intended to help individuals better understand lithium battery safety issues and how to address them.”

The initial session of the Battery Fire Safety and Emergency Response  program is August 10, 2016 at UL’s Northbrook, IL facility. The course is the first of a planned suite of offerings created to address concerns in the fields of energy storage, battery logistics, insurance underwriting, and risk management.   You can register for this and other courses at: