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Sep 28, 2021

In 2019, a massive explosion rocked an energy storage facility in Surprise, Arizona, sending four firefighters to the hospital. With ever more powerful energy storage systems, or ESS, being installed across the world, researchers, firefighters, and manufacturers immediately understood that Surprise could be a seminal moment for the safety of this emerging technology.


Today on the podcast, we go over the details of the incident with the fire chief of the responding Peoria (Arizona) Fire-Medical Department (2:05). Then, we speak to the authors of an extensive UL report on the Surprise ESS explosion about lessons learned, and what advancements in research, training, and technology need to occur to ensure that firefighters are safe during future ESS incidents (16:11).



On October 5, NFPA is hosting a workshop titled “Keeping Hazardous Environments Safe,”which will include a detailed discussion about the Surprise battery explosion with those who were directly involved. To learn more and to register,


Read a detailed NFPA Journal feature story on the Surprise incident


Read the UL after-incident report, “Four Firefighters Injured in Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System Explosion – Arizona.”