Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis said: “Due to fire reignition risks, it’s a concern for the rest of the nation if EVs compromised by salt water are resold, and we’ve already gotten unconfirmed reports of these causing fires outside of Florida.” (Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM) Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis said: “Due to fire reignition risks, it’s a concern for the rest of the nation if EVs compromised by salt water are resold, and we’ve already gotten unconfirmed reports of these causing fires outside of Florida.” (Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is urging those impacted by Hurricane Ian to be on alert for potential fires caused by lithium-ion batteries that were submerged in salt water. To date, eight fires have been linked to batteries in electric vehicles following the hurricane, but the insurance regulation office reported that golf carts, scooters and power tools also carry these fire risks.

Lithium-ion batteries that have been submerged in salt water are susceptible to “thermal runaway,” which describes a process that is accelerated by an increase in temperature, resulting in the release of energy that then further increases the temperature. These fires also have the potential to ignite and reignite weeks after an event occurred.

Steve Hallo

Steve Hallo is managing editor of PropertyCasualty360.com. He can be reached at [email protected].  

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