Companies Team Up to Offer Battery Fire Safety Training at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

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With the recent high-profile failures of batteries in consumer electronics, training has become an essential part of safety in airports. Detroit Metropolitan Airport has teamed up with Energy Storage Safety Products International and Underwriters Laboratories to prepare airport staff and flight crews to respond to these emergencies.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) firefighters, airline and airport employees will receive intensive fire safety training for emergencies involving lithium and lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries. The first-of-its-kind training intervention was developed by Energy Storage Safety Products International (ESSPI), a Detroit-based specialty battery fire and safety management company, and Underwriters Laboratories.

Li-Ion and other battery technologies employed in energy storage are generally safe and offer enormous benefits. However, there have been a number of recent fire events around the world that have warranted the need for additional training regarding battery and personal electronics safety.

“These battery technologies are a part of our everyday lives,” said Ron Butler, lead instructor at ESSPI. “So, the goal of the training is to help the airline industry become better prepared to deal with fires when they occur. By pushing proper education and dispelling misinformation, we can ease passenger and crew concerns. By offering this training, DTW has shown how important safety is for the millions of passengers, airline crews, first responders and all other personnel who come in and out of the airport.”

“We’re pleased to partner with ESSPI and Underwriters Laboratories to provide this training to our airport team,” said Airport Authority Fire Chief Mike Evans. “From consumer electronics to cargo, you can find a significant number of lithium and lithium ion batteries at an airport. Our Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting team first received training in 2015. Now, the number of students has expanded to include any interested airport workers.”

“The more trained personnel who can recognize, report and respond to an emergency, the more likely it is there will be a positive outcome,” said Airport Authority Fire Captain Gary Dust.

The “Battery Fire Safety for Airport and Aircrew Personnel” training will occur from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on March 7, 2017, at DTW’s NOMADS Building, 10100 Middlebelt Road, Romulus. Firefighters and other airport personnel will learn about a variety of topics including basic battery chemistry and fire behavior. Attendees will also see a demonstration of techniques to control battery fires.

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Ronald M. Butler
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