According to a recent report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), only about half of fire departments in this fair nation of ours are prepared for dealing with electric car fires. Don’t get me wrong: a fiery car sitting by the side of the road makes for a shockingly dynamic and dramatic apocalyptic scene in movies and television. But in the real world, a vehicular inferno is a disaster waiting to happen; electric cars are bursting into flames at an alarming rate, and our brave firefighters aren’t prepared to…well…fight it.
But why is this? Why are EV batteries so dangerous, and why can’t we just treat them like any other conflagration? A fine question you are no-doubt asking because you very well should be. The answers might surprise you, but you deserve the truth – and, as always, only I can tell it to you. So read on, my friend…
What the NTSB Has Found
Although full information is still forthcoming, an initial survey released recently by the NTSB found that only about one in four fire departments has a dedicated training program to teach their people how to deal with fires involving electric cars, trucks, and SUVs. Half of our nation’s fire departments have no programs, protocols, or procedures in place for dealing with a blaze that involves a battery-powered vehicle – nothing at all. This resulted in numerous instances in which firefighters attempted to combat a flaming battery without using the proper methods.
As a side note, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the NTSB. A lot of people don’t appreciate everything that it does for us as proud Americans. The National Transportation Safety Board has been used to impose law upon the lawless; I’ve seen it used a number of times to really paddle the behinds of unsafe drivers. This large board (I believe it’s made of oak) stands as more than a symbol, it is a very real weapon used to combat recklessness on America’s roads, and I, for one, will proudly stand with those on the side of safety.
But anyways, so most fire departments don’t have a training program for dealing with EV battery fires, and at least half don’t have any protocols in place for them. Why is this a problem? Well…
The Danger Posed By EV Batteries
A lot of people think that the batteries used in electric vehicles are just like those you’ll find in any other vehicle. Or they think that they’re like other batteries out there, using chemical reactions to generate a current that is transmitted to other systems to provide power. These foolish sheep couldn’t be further from the truth. The batteries used in electric vehicles aren’t just your typical chemical affairs; oh no, they’re alchemical batteries!
You see, they don’t rely on chemical reactions, instead, the batteries in EV models house tiny, living flames. These sentient fires are able to exist with little fuel, producing a tremendous amount of energy due to the heat from their very souls. The first of these flame elementals was created in 1607, by Hans Fleminshem in the small German village of Doofenberg. Young Master Fleminshem was an acclaimed musician, having been court composer to Emperor Josef Krummschwanz, and turned to alchemy in his later years in hopes of discovering a secret path to immortality.
At the ripe old age of 37, nearing the end of his life, Fleminshem stumbled upon a technique for creating a living flame. He named this creation “Beppo” (it’s a dumb name, I admit, but I didn’t come up with it) and understood only a small portion of the miracle he had accomplished. Unfortunately, he was still convinced that Beppo was the secret to immortality, and he quickly devoured the living flame. As you might imagine, it consumed him from the inside out, causing one of the most painful deaths in human history.
Beppo went on to grow exponentially in size and eventually caused the Great German Conflagration of 1607, before a wandering horde of Viking warriors were able to slay the terrible elemental. Not wishing to see this repeated, the secret workings of Herr Fleminshem were destroyed in hopes that none would ever discover them. Of course, since Elon Musk is well known for his work in modern alchemy, it’s little wonder how these secrets were rediscovered and eventually used to create modern electric vehicles.
How to Handle a Flaming Battery
If you should have a battery in an electric vehicle that you’re in, or near, burst into flames, it’s very important that you handle the situation properly. According to experts, the correct approach is to douse the flame in tremendous amounts of water in order to cool it down significantly so that you can then effectively tamp down the flames. While I agree with that first half, the idea of simply “tamping down” the beating heart of a sentient inferno is sheer folly.
You certainly need to hurl a tremendous amount of water at such a fire in order to handle the cataclysmic levels of heat that beppim (as they’re known in certain circles) create merely by their very existence. Once you have done this, however, you cannot simply tamp down the will of a living fire to exist. You have to break its connection to our plane of reality, in order to banish it back to the Realm of Fire from whence it was summoned when the EV was manufactured.
There are a few reliable ways to go about this, but unless you have a steady supply of unsullied goats, or you know a good frog-monger in this day and age, you’re going to want to stick with what’s known as the “California Ritual.” This was first employed in 1872 in order to deal with a fire elemental that appeared near the Redwood forest. When properly performed, it will not only completely quell the heat and destructive force of such a flame but effectively banish it back to its own plane and keep you and your loved ones safe.
I don’t have time to accurately describe the California Ritual here, of course, but a full explanation, directions, and meticulous diagrams can be found in numerous sources. Some online depictions of the ritual can be faulty, however, so I recommend finding a copy of Gilbert’s Grimoire Vol. 17, which has the most accurate telling of how it’s performed.
Should You Be Concerned?
Yes, yes, you should. America’s roads are quickly becoming overrun with wanton death machines, housing hundreds of thousands of living flames. For now, EV battery fires have been few and far between, though the numbers are growing. All it’s going to take is for one of these beppim to realize what’s happening, to sense its siblings imprisoned within our vehicles, and to fly into a calamitous rage and free its enslaved brethren. The ensuing firestorm would turn our verdant, lovely planet into little more than a charred husk.
The NTSB, Tesla Motors, and other EV manufacturers have not commented on this story at this time.