Any electric car that has suffered damage in an accident or break-down has a far greater chance of self-igniting and this is the main reason why car repairers need an electric vehicle fire blanket.
From car repair garages and work shops to body shops and MOT service centres, this specific area of the UK motor industry employs over 200,000 people mainly in small and medium-sized businesses. Each of these businesses is recording an increase in the number of electric vehicles being brought in. As such the propensity for an EV fire increases too which is why these firms need to consider how they would respond to this type of incident.
Damage = fire risk
When an electric vehicle arrives on site following a crash, or it is scheduled for a service, MOT or for a fault to be investigated, the health & safety of the technicians working on the car is paramount. As outlined, the risk of an electric vehicle catching fire is far greater if it is damaged in some way. And it’s worth noting that certain types of damage cannot always be seen or quickly identified. That’s often the case with an electric vehicle battery, the most common source of an EV fire.
If the EV’s battery has sustained damage, or it is actually faulty as a result of poor manufacture, this can cause the cells inside the battery array to heat up at any moment. Days and even weeks after an accident the car is susceptible to self-igniting. Once the battery cells heat up, they do so very quickly and a fire can break out. It only takes one cell to heat up and that one cell has the capacity to compromise every other cell. When a fire starts it will spread fast throughout the whole battery and create a phenomenon known as ‘thermal runaway’.
EV fires cause explosive thermal runaway
Thermal runaway is practically impossible to stop once it has occurred and, due to its explosive nature, any vehicles, property or people in close vicinity are in danger as the fire can disperse and cause extensive collateral damage. Furthermore, any EV fire will result in toxic fumes and smoke being produced which can be highly hazardous to humans and wildlife.
If every car repairer and body shop in the UK made an electric vehicle fire blanket readily available, any collateral damage from an EV fire could be mitigated with early deployment. If a technician thinks a fire is probable, an electric vehicle fire blanket can be used to cover the entire car. This will starve the fire of oxygen and stop any flames or sparks extending to any other vehicles in the workshop and reducing the overall temperature. The fire brigade should also always be contacted for professional firefighting.
Safety is paramount for car repairers
Safety is paramount for car repairers which is why every business of this kind should have a minimum of one electric vehicle fire blanket on the premises. An essential item of health & safety equipment, these products are easy to use and could protect lives if an EV fire ever breaks out.