EV adoption in Jeju Island is the highest in Korea. As of last year, the number of registered electric vehicles in the island reached 32,936, accounting for 8.03 percent of all vehicles, which is more than five times the national average of 1.5 percent, Maeil Business News reports.
Furthermore, the region boasts the highest number of EV charging facilities in the country, totalling 22,000.
The Fire Safety Headquarters of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province convened a meeting of the fire-fighting technology deliberation committee, which consisted of experts in the field of fire safety.
During the firefighting technology deliberation committee, a thorough examination was conducted on the specific standards for firefighting facilities to be implemented in the "Fire Safety Guidelines for Parking Zones for Electric Vehicles." The installation of fire extinguishers was also reviewed.
The committee discussed a plan to equip fire extinguishers with exceptional fire suppression capabilities specifically designed for electric vehicles, particularly in underground parking areas where fire trucks face challenges in accessing the premises.
In the event of a fire, the fire brigade would enter the area and assemble a fire extinguishing tank to extinguish the flames. The fire extinguisher would function by creating a water barrier around the electric vehicle and filling it with water up to the battery's height.
The Ministry of Environment in Korea stated that extinguishing electric vehicle fires with conventional fire extinguishers is challenging and that professional firefighters require specialized cooling fire extinguishing equipment.
As such, the first step should be expanding the availability of cooling fire extinguishing equipment at the fire department level and establishing guidelines for responding to fires at electric vehicle charging facilities.
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The Korean National Fire Agency recommends charging facilities to be placed outdoors. However, if installation underground becomes unavoidable, certain measures must be taken to ensure fire prevention.
This includes establishing designated fire prevention zones, installing suffocation fire prevention systems, and enhancing fire safety facilities such as closed circuit television (CCTV). It was also highlighted that installation of charging points below the third basement floor should be avoided.
In a previous initiative on November 21 and 23 of the preceding year, Jeju Fire Station conducted a live fire drill at the Hancheon reservoir in Jeju-si to enhance the fire suppression capabilities related to electric vehicles.
A total of 270 individuals, including firefighters and rescuers, received training in various areas, such as rescue procedures for electric vehicle batteries, step-by-step fire extinguishing techniques for electric vehicles, and proficiency training in electric vehicle fire suppression equipment, including suffocation fire extinguishers and portable fire extinguishers.
Also read: As EV adoption rises, Korea calls for enhanced fire safety guidelines and failure analysis to determine cause of battery fire