How does an electric vehicle fire blanket work?

With more and more electric vehicles appearing across the UK road network, the need for an effective electric vehicle fire blanket is fast becoming a prerequisite for a wide variety of organisations, industries and locations including charging points and car parks. But how does an electric vehicle (EV) fire blanket work?

Starve the fire of oxygen

Fire blankets have been around for many years. They were first invented in 1953 by Bill Bridgeman who actually set out to create a safety blanket for infants. The basic premise of any fire blanket is to starve the fire of oxygen; this is the exact objective of a car fire blanket.

A fire is predominantly fuelled by oxygen so by covering the person, object or vehicle with a fire blanket will prevent further combustion and ultimately extinguish the fire. Remember the fire brigade TV adverts from back in the 80s where a fire blanket was thrown over the flames of a chip pan fire? Many fire blankets have been used ever since to prevent homes going up in smoke!

Using an electric car fire blanket to best effect

Whilst EV fires are not an everyday occurrence, whenever they do happen they can quickly escalate and cause devastating damage, particularly if the batteries end up in ‘thermal runaway’. What’s more, they are impossible to extinguish using traditional car firefighting methods.

This is just one of the reasons why deploying an EV fire blanket can make a huge difference to the overall outcome of an EV fire.

A damaged high energy lithium-ion battery or manufacturing defect are the most common causes of fire in EVs. As such, there is always the potential that an electric vehicle that seems completely fine can suddenly catch fire without any external input. And a common time for this to happen is when the vehicle is being charged so having an EV fire blanket on hand in this situation is imperative.

If you see smoke or smell burning at any point during charging, an electric vehicle car fire blanket should be deployed if it is safe to do so.

Thermal runaway and electric vehicle fire blankets

As mentioned previously, the phenomenon known as thermal runaway is one of the most dangerous elements of EV fires.

Thermal runaway can strike when damaged cells in the car’s battery heat up so fast and so intensely that a fire is unavoidable. If this type of fire is not tackled, the adjoining cells in the battery are affected thus creating a fire domino effect. Add the electrolytes contained in the lithium-ion battery to the fire and toxic fumes are released and severe temperatures of over 1,200°C can be achieved.

If an EV fire blanket can be thrown over the car before thermal runaway materialises or the fire spreads, the fire can be diminished, and the explosive potential of thermal runaway reduced. Another reason why an EV fire blanket is an essential item of equipment wherever electric vehicles are present.

The Prosol Electric Vehicle Fire Blanket

Following significant time and investment in research and development, we have created an electric vehicle fire blanket that is highly effective and has been evaluated at Horiba MIRA.

Electric vehicle fire blanket

The Prosol Electric Vehicle Fire Blanket

Designed to deprive the fire of oxygen and reduce the temperature of the fire, the Prosol Electric Vehicle Fire Blanket is the ideal solution for limiting the potential widespread damage to other vehicles and adjacent property.

It can easily be utilised to cover any size car by two people as it measures 48m2 and weighs just 28kg. Supplied in a robust, waterproof storage holdall, the Prosol Electric Vehicle Fire Blanket is a essential item of health & safety equipment whenever and wherever electric vehicles are used, charged, parked, maintained and stored.