The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), in conjunction with ARUP, fire safety organisations, car parking groups and the chargepoint industry, has issued interim guidance – T0194 – Covered car parks – fire safety guidance for electric vehicles – that discusses fire safety in the built environment. These latest guidelines are designed to provide an overview of electric vehicle (EV) fire safety consideration in covered car parks in particular.
Fire safety challenges in a car park
As outlined in several of our blog posts, there are specific fire safety challenges in car parks since the enclosed nature of the space makes dealing with a possible EV fire even more difficult than in an open-air car park, for example. Not only are more than 100 organic chemicals and toxic gases, including carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, produced by an EV fire, but the rapid containment of any fire is also imperative in order to protect other vehicles and the surrounding area from significant and expensive damage, not to mention potential for loss of life.
Containment of an EV fire
During the long design and development process of our Fire Cloak Electric Vehicle Fire Blanket, and as numbers of EVs on the world’s roads continues to grow exponentially, mitigation measures for electric vehicle fires become more and more important. And such measures will only continue to develop as existing EVs age and depreciate mechanically and drivers make the switch to electric.
EV fire risk mitigation measures
From suggesting that a covered car park only includes certified and approved Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCPs) to controlling speed limits and increasing the distance between parked cars, the guidelines also make reference to mitigation measures that could ‘protect someone or something from fire involving one more EVs’.
It outlines that ‘should an EV fire occur within the car park, risk mitigation measures can be introduced to the car park to minimise the consequence of such a fire’ with a view to specifically limiting fire damage to surrounding vehicles. The guidelines suggest having manual firefighting measures in place for this specific element. More importantly, it states why manual firefighting measure should be provided.
- “Reason: If fire extinguishers and dedicated EV fire blankets are provided near to the EV charging bays, this may allow early intervention by appropriately trained staff whilst the fire is still small, if it originates in an area of the EV other than the battery.”
Car fire blankets in car parks
We fully appreciate that the addition of a car fire or EV car fire blanket should be reviewed for appropriateness and must take into consideration how or if the fire blanket can be safely deployed. Fire risk assessment and training for car park attendants is key to the universal adoption of electric vehicle fire blankets in car parks irrespective of their location which is why we will continue to work with car park operators and owners to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits.
If you’d like more information on the fire blankets for car parks, please don’t hesitate to contact Matt Butcher on 07543 177264 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org