FIREFIGHTER NEARMISS - Auto Fire with

FIREFIGHTER NEARMISS - Auto Fire with

Prepared By Operations Division REVISED Version November 24, 2007 Prepared By Operations Division REVISED Version November 24, 2007 FIREFIGHTER NEAR MISS Auto Fire with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Tank Explosion FIREFIGHTER NEAR MISS Auto Fire with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Tank Explosion

Seattle Fire Department 2 2 Information Update 11/24/07 Information Update 11/24/07 • On November 7, 2007, American Honda Service Division issued a bulletin to all Honda Sales, Service, and Parts Managers for a voluntary recall campaign of 1998-2007 Civic GX CNG vehicles • Honda Motor Co.

agreed to the recall in accordance with 49 CFR Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Reporting • On November 7, 2007, American Honda Service Division issued a bulletin to all Honda Sales, Service, and Parts Managers for a voluntary recall campaign of 1998-2007 Civic GX CNG vehicles • Honda Motor Co. agreed to the recall in accordance with 49 CFR Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Reporting

Seattle Fire Department 3 3 Information Update 11/24/07 Information Update 11/24/07 • Honda will install a fire retardant blanket to the trunk side of the rear seat-back. • The Bulletin stated the problem thus: “In the event of a severe interior fire in the area of the rear seat, the CNG tank may be heated unevenly, preventing the pressure relief device from venting the contents of the tank as designed. This could result in a tank rupture and even ejection of the tank from the vehicle. This situation was discovered after studying an act of arson on a Civic GX earlier this year.” • Honda will install a fire retardant blanket to the trunk side of the rear seat-back.

• The Bulletin stated the problem thus: “In the event of a severe interior fire in the area of the rear seat, the CNG tank may be heated unevenly, preventing the pressure relief device from venting the contents of the tank as designed. This could result in a tank rupture and even ejection of the tank from the vehicle. This situation was discovered after studying an act of arson on a Civic GX earlier this year.”

Seattle Fire Department 4 4 Incident #26564, March 26, 2007 Incident #26564, March 26, 2007 • Dispatch 0230 hours for car fire (Engine 10) • E10 arrived and requested FIB for multiple vehicles with possible structural exposures (freeway columns and overpasses) • 12 vehicles damaged or destroyed • Firefighter near miss when CNG vehicle exploded as E10 crew approached with a handline (approximately 50-75’ away) • Determined to be arson • Dispatch 0230 hours for car fire (Engine 10) • E10 arrived and requested FIB for multiple vehicles with possible structural exposures (freeway columns and overpasses) • 12 vehicles damaged or destroyed • Firefighter near miss when CNG vehicle exploded as E10 crew approached with a handline (approximately 50-75’ away) • Determined to be arson

Seattle Fire Department 5 5 Fire Garage Fire Fire Garage Garage

Seattle Fire Department 6 6 Royal Brougham Royal Brougham 8 8 t h t h A v e S o u t h A v e S o u t h Access Gate Access Gate Access Gate E 1 E 1 E 1

Seattle Fire Department 7 7 E10 parked outside the gate here E10 parked outside E10 parked outside the gate here the gate here Debris from the explosion was thrown up to 100’ in all directions including on the over- passes above the incident. Debris from the explosion was thrown up to Debris from the explosion was thrown up to 100 100’ ’ in all directions including on the over in all directions including on the over- - passes above the incident.

passes above the incident.

Seattle Fire Department 8 8 + + + + + + + + ++ + + Backhoe Backhoe Backhoe Fuel tank (original location) Fuel tank Fuel tank (original location) (original location) Trunk lid Trunk lid Trunk lid Bumper frame Bumper frame Bumper frame Roof debris Roof debris Roof debris Roof debris Roof debris Roof debris 1 ’

Seattle Fire Department 9 9 Honda CNG Vehicle Honda CNG Vehicle

Seattle Fire Department 10 10

Seattle Fire Department 11 11 Rear of vehicle Rear of vehicle

Seattle Fire Department 12 12 Roof is blown completely Roof is blown completely off vehicle and doors blown off vehicle and doors blown open open

Seattle Fire Department 13 13

Seattle Fire Department 14 14

Seattle Fire Department 15 15

Seattle Fire Department 16 16

Seattle Fire Department 17 17 Metal mounting straps for CNG tank Metal mounting Metal mounting straps for CNG tank straps for CNG tank

Seattle Fire Department 18 18 Trunk lid Trunk lid Trunk lid

Seattle Fire Department 19 19 Tank initially landed here, about 100’ away Tank initially landed Tank initially landed here, about 100 here, about 100’ ’ away away …then was moved down the hill for extinguishment.

… …then was moved down then was moved down the hill for extinguishment. the hill for extinguishment.

Seattle Fire Department 20 20 Evidence indicates it may have ricocheted off the underside of a freeway overpass (next picture). Evidence indicates it may Evidence indicates it may have ricocheted off the have ricocheted off the underside of a freeway underside of a freeway overpass overpass (next picture) (next picture). .

Seattle Fire Department 21 21 90’ 90 90’ ’

Seattle Fire Department 22 22 Rear bumper frame 90 Rear bumper frame 90’ ’+ away + away

Seattle Fire Department 23 23 Bumper shrapnel Bumper shrapnel (note burn marks on (note burn marks on ground) ground)

Seattle Fire Department 24 24 Roof section about 75’ away Roof section about 75 Roof section about 75’ ’ away away

Seattle Fire Department 25 25 This may be your only warning of a CNG – fueled vehicle. Typically located on the trunk lid or bumper. This may be your only warning of This may be your only warning of a CNG a CNG – – fueled vehicle. Typically fueled vehicle. Typically located on the trunk lid or bumper. located on the trunk lid or bumper.

Seattle Fire Department 26 26 Composite tank is carbon-fiber / fiberglass wrapped for strength – similar to our SCBA tanks.

Composite tank is carbon Composite tank is carbon- -fiber / fiberglass fiber / fiberglass wrapped for strength wrapped for strength – – similar to our SCBA tanks. similar to our SCBA tanks.

Seattle Fire Department 27 27

Seattle Fire Department 28 28

Seattle Fire Department 29 29

Seattle Fire Department 30 30

Seattle Fire Department 31 31 August 07, 2003 Airport Taxis, Shuttles Convert to Natural Gas New contract requires fleet conversions to improve air quality The Port of Seattle Commission today authorized the renewal of contracts with two major providers of ground transportation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The contracts, with the Seattle Tacoma International Taxi Association (STITA) and Shuttle Express, will require the two organizations to make major investments to convert their fleets to clean-burning natural gas.

Under its new contract, STITA will be required to convert its entire 160-cab fleet to natural gas in the next three years. By converting more quickly, STITA will earn the right to extend the contract from five to seven years.

Seattle Fire Department 32 32 Historical Information Historical Information • Several NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) investigations – Example: January 27, 2003; Ford Crown Victoria on fire with flame impingement on CNG tank. The tank failed catastrophically prior to Pressure Relief Device (PRD) functioning. – Vehicle recall with dealers installing additional insulation behind back seat. – Number of vehicles still needing repair??? • Several NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) investigations – Example: January 27, 2003; Ford Crown Victoria on fire with flame impingement on CNG tank.

The tank failed catastrophically prior to Pressure Relief Device (PRD) functioning.

– Vehicle recall with dealers installing additional insulation behind back seat. – Number of vehicles still needing repair???

Seattle Fire Department 33 33 Code of Federal Regulations Code of Federal Regulations • CFR 49, Part 571 – Standard 304 Compressed Natural Gas Fuel Container Integrity Flame Test Standard: Flame impingement generating 1550-1650° F. at the surface for the length of the cylinder for 20 minutes or until fuel is completely vented through PRV. • CFR 49, Part 571 – Standard 304 Compressed Natural Gas Fuel Container Integrity Flame Test Standard: Flame impingement generating 1550-1650° F.

at the surface for the length of the cylinder for 20 minutes or until fuel is completely vented through PRV.

Seattle Fire Department 34 34 CNG Properties CNG Properties • Compressed to 3,600 psi in fuel cylinder • CNG rated at 117 octane fuel • BTU per # = 22,800 (gasoline = 18,900) • Not a liquid when compressed (it becomes a very close dense gas) • Not the same as Liquified Natural Gas – LNG (cryogenic: -260° to become liquified) • Lighter than air when released ( .6 air) • Compressed to 3,600 psi in fuel cylinder • CNG rated at 117 octane fuel • BTU per # = 22,800 (gasoline = 18,900) • Not a liquid when compressed (it becomes a very close dense gas) • Not the same as Liquified Natural Gas – LNG (cryogenic: -260° to become liquified) • Lighter than air when released ( .6 air)

Seattle Fire Department 35 35 CNG Properties CNG Properties • LEL / UEL = 4 – 16% (gasoline = 1.3 – 7.6) • 1 cubic foot of CNG = 245 cu.ft. of natural gas at sea level (uncompressed) • 1 cubic foot of CNG weighs 13# • 5.66# = 1 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE) • Honda Civic tank = 8 GGE • Note: 1 gallon of gasoline properly vaporized has the explosive equivalency of 83 pounds of dynamite (CDC). • LEL / UEL = 4 – 16% (gasoline = 1.3 – 7.6) • 1 cubic foot of CNG = 245 cu.ft. of natural gas at sea level (uncompressed) • 1 cubic foot of CNG weighs 13# • 5.66# = 1 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE) • Honda Civic tank = 8 GGE • Note: 1 gallon of gasoline properly vaporized has the explosive equivalency of 83 pounds of dynamite (CDC).

Seattle Fire Department 36 36 Cylinder Properties Cylinder Properties • Four Cylinder Types: – Type 1: all metal (steel or aluminum) – Type 2: hoop wrapped steel or aluminum – Type 3: fully wrapped steel or aluminum – Type 4: all-composite (non-metallic)* *Early model Honda Civic uses Type 4; later models use Type 3 • Four Cylinder Types: – Type 1: all metal (steel or aluminum) – Type 2: hoop wrapped steel or aluminum – Type 3: fully wrapped steel or aluminum – Type 4: all-composite (non-metallic)* *Early model Honda Civic uses Type 4; later models use Type 3

Seattle Fire Department 37 37 Honda Civic Tank Design Honda Civic Tank Design

Seattle Fire Department 38 38 Honda Civic Tank Design Honda Civic Tank Design Note: The pressure relief device (PRD) activates similar to a fusible link – it fails versus resealing like a spring-assisted pressure reducing valve (PRV). The gas is vented out the vent tube until the tank is empty. Discharge time depends on fuel level. Note: The pressure relief device (PRD) activates similar to a fusible link – it fails versus resealing like a spring-assisted pressure reducing valve (PRV). The gas is vented out the vent tube until the tank is empty. Discharge time depends on fuel level.

Seattle Fire Department 39 39 Ongoing Investigation Ongoing Investigation The tank was wrapped and secured at the FD Commissary for subsequent investigation by engineers from the various component manufacturers.

The tank was wrapped and secured at the FD Commissary for subsequent investigation by engineers from the various component manufacturers.

Seattle Fire Department 40 40 Ongoing Investigation Ongoing Investigation • Stakeholders have demonstrated a serious commitment to determining the cause and developing corrective recommendations – Honda Motor Company sent four engineers from Japan and the U.S. – The tank manufacturer sent an engineer from their Nebraska facility – The valve manufacturer sent an engineer from their Ontario, Canada facility • Stakeholders have demonstrated a serious commitment to determining the cause and developing corrective recommendations – Honda Motor Company sent four engineers from Japan and the U.S.

– The tank manufacturer sent an engineer from their Nebraska facility – The valve manufacturer sent an engineer from their Ontario, Canada facility

Seattle Fire Department 41 41 Ongoing Investigation Ongoing Investigation After an initial site investigation, the tank was shipped to Honda Motor Company for scientific analysis. Results are pending. **SEE Slide 2 for new information After an initial site investigation, the tank was shipped to Honda Motor Company for scientific analysis. Results are pending. **SEE Slide 2 for new information

Seattle Fire Department 42 42 Ongoing Investigation Ongoing Investigation • Additional inquires have been received from: – U.S. Department of Transportation – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – State of Washington Department of Transportation • A “Firefighter Near Miss” has been posted on-line • SEE Slide 2 for updated information • Additional inquires have been received from: – U.S.

Department of Transportation – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – State of Washington Department of Transportation • A “Firefighter Near Miss” has been posted on-line • SEE Slide 2 for updated information

Seattle Fire Department 43 43 Lessons Learned / Best Practices Lessons Learned / Best Practices • Approach from 45° angle to vehicle ends • Be aware of CNG vehicles – Cabs, city vehicles, shuttles • Look for CNG placards • Watch for other hazards, i.e. bumper struts; hood and tailgate struts; airbags; burning fuel runoff; hazardous vehicle contents; exploding tires; other traffic • Consider cooling streams from a distance • Approach from 45° angle to vehicle ends • Be aware of CNG vehicles – Cabs, city vehicles, shuttles • Look for CNG placards • Watch for other hazards, i.e. bumper struts; hood and tailgate struts; airbags; burning fuel runoff; hazardous vehicle contents; exploding tires; other traffic • Consider cooling streams from a distance

Seattle Fire Department 44 44 Best Practices – Honda Civic Best Practices – Honda Civic The Best Way to Stop CNG Flow and Turn Off the Engine: KEYS Turn off the ignition switch, and remove the key. Turning off the ignition switch automatically shuts off the flow of CNG from the fuel tank. It also turns off power to the airbags and the seat belt tensioners within 3 minutes. The Best Way to Stop CNG Flow and Turn Off the Engine: KEYS Turn off the ignition switch, and remove the key. Turning off the ignition switch automatically shuts off the flow of CNG from the fuel tank. It also turns off power to the airbags and the seat belt tensioners within 3 minutes.

Seattle Fire Department 45 45 Best Practices – Honda Civic Best Practices – Honda Civic The Second-Best Way to Stop CNG Flow and Turn Off the Engine: ELECTRICAL Remove the main fuse, and disconnect the battery negative cable. This method should be used if the ignition switch is in the ON (II) position, you cannot reach the key or the CNG manual shutoff valve, but you can reach under the hood. The Second-Best Way to Stop CNG Flow and Turn Off the Engine: ELECTRICAL Remove the main fuse, and disconnect the battery negative cable.

This method should be used if the ignition switch is in the ON (II) position, you cannot reach the key or the CNG manual shutoff valve, but you can reach under the hood.

Seattle Fire Department 46 46 Best Practices – Honda Civic Best Practices – Honda Civic The Second-Best Way, continued: Removing the main fuse shuts off the flow of CNG from the fuel tank and turns off the engine. Disconnecting the battery negative cable cuts power to the airbags and the seat belt tensioners within 3 minutes. It also prevents the engine from being restarted. The Second-Best Way, continued: Removing the main fuse shuts off the flow of CNG from the fuel tank and turns off the engine. Disconnecting the battery negative cable cuts power to the airbags and the seat belt tensioners within 3 minutes.

It also prevents the engine from being restarted.

Seattle Fire Department 47 47 Best Practices – Honda Civic Best Practices – Honda Civic

Seattle Fire Department 48 48 Best Practices – Honda Civic Best Practices – Honda Civic Least-Desirable Way for Stopping CNG Flow and Turning Off the Engine: GAS Turn off the CNG manual shutoff valve. This method does not disable the airbags or the seat belt tensioners. It should be used only if the engine is running, you cannot reach the key, and you cannot reach under the hood. Least-Desirable Way for Stopping CNG Flow and Turning Off the Engine: GAS Turn off the CNG manual shutoff valve.

This method does not disable the airbags or the seat belt tensioners. It should be used only if the engine is running, you cannot reach the key, and you cannot reach under the hood.

Seattle Fire Department 49 49 Civic CNG Shutoff Valve Civic CNG Shutoff Valve CNG Manual Shutoff Valve The Civic GX has a CNG manual shutoff valve to stop the flow of CNG from the fuel tank. The red handle of the valve is on the bottom of the car, near The left rear tire and the splash guard. CNG Manual Shutoff Valve The Civic GX has a CNG manual shutoff valve to stop the flow of CNG from the fuel tank. The red handle of the valve is on the bottom of the car, near The left rear tire and the splash guard.

Seattle Fire Department 50 50

Seattle Fire Department 51 51

Seattle Fire Department 52 52

Seattle Fire Department 53 53

Seattle Fire Department 54 54

Seattle Fire Department 55 55 SAFETY SUMMARY SAFETY SUMMARY • Determine vehicle type during size-up • Use 45° approach angle • Watch for additional hazards • Consider cooling streams from a distance • If CNG vehicle, remember best practices: – #1 – KEYS – #2 – ELECTRICAL – #3 – GAS • Determine vehicle type during size-up • Use 45° approach angle • Watch for additional hazards • Consider cooling streams from a distance • If CNG vehicle, remember best practices: – #1 – KEYS – #2 – ELECTRICAL – #3 – GAS

Seattle Fire Department 56 56 NOTICE: NOTICE: For questions regarding the content of this presentation or the incident referenced herein, please contact: Battalion Chief R.R. Hansen Seattle Fire Department randy.hansen@seattle.gov

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