Safe Battery Storage in Residential Areas

Malcolm Goggin


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As one of the fastest-growing cities in Arizona, the City of Peoria and its municipal services strive to be at the forefront of providing excellent care to its residents, and Peoria’s Fire-Medical Department is no exception. As one of the few agencies to be accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. (CPSE), Peoria’s Fire-Medical has been awarded for its excellence in providing emergency and medical services to its residents.

Lithium-ion battery storage systems come with their own challenges regarding fire safety. Following a lithium-ion battery energy storage system explosion in Surprise, Arizona, in 2019, several of Peoria’s firefighters were injured due to the explosion. The incident highlighted the need to review battery storage safety codes and educational programs thoroughly.

As part of the PAF 509: Public Affairs Capstone course, one Master of Public Administration student completed his culminating experience with Peoria’s Fire-Medical Department. In an effort to better equip Peoria’s Fire-Medical Department for future incidents, the project focuses on the safety concerns surrounding battery storage systems and how to educate Peoria’s residents and first responders about safe battery storage practices.

In partnership with ASU Project Cities, the capstone research seeks to provide Peoria’s Fire-Medical with recommendations to update its city code publications related to safe battery storage. The student conducted a literature review of battery storage concerns and presented foundational knowledge about the various battery storage types. By reviewing battery storage and education best practices from other cities, the student poses several recommendations aim to empower Peoria’s firefighters with fire safety knowledge to ensure a safer residential and work environment.

With a surge in lithium-ion battery use in residential settings, being proactive about battery storage safety will be paramount for Peoria’s first responders and residents. Through regular maintenance of Peoria’s fire codes, and regular trainings, the City of Peoria can take proactive steps to ensure the safety of its residents and first responders.

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