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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Unauthorized Charging Poses Fire Hazard

A gloved hand holds a melted outlet

Charging EVs at stations not designated for personal use can lead to melting the outlet (shown above), and potentially, a fire.

Photo: Jaroslav Sebek

Charging at outlets that are not clearly marked for personal use is unauthorized. There have been numerous instances on the Bethesda campus of people charging their vehicles at outlets not designated for personal use in the ACRF, multi-level parking lot (MLP)-7 and MLP-10. 

The main concern about unauthorized charging is a fire. Outlets in NIH garages have been burned and some have been completely melted from unauthorized employee EV charging. Each outlet that burned could have caused a fire that spread to vehicles. The risk is significant—especially in parking garages connected to occupied buildings. 

In addition to the fire risk, unauthorized charging also puts NIH in violation of the FAST Act. There are no means to meet requirements to track and recoup electricity costs at unauthorized outlets. 

NIH is working to educate everyone on campus and, when possible, deactivate outlets in garages. Staff should only charge at stations clearly marked for personal use.

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