Frequently Asked Questions about the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR Concept
On this FAQ page, you’ll find all the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions! To make it easier for you, we have divided the questions into several categories:
- General FAQ
- Fire Blanket FAQ
- Handheld aerosol units FAQ
- WaterMist Lance FAQ
- Electric Vehicle Fires on Ships FAQ
- Electric Vehicle Fires in parking garages FAQ
General Fire Isolator FAQ
- What is the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
The Fire Isolator concept is a comprehensive approach to isolating and fighting EV car fires, developed based on best practices and live testing. It combines a high temperature-resistant fire blanket, handheld aerosol units, and a water mist lance to effectively manage and minimize damages caused by such fires.
- Why is there no single solution to extinguish EV car fires?
EV car fires involve complex lithium-ion batteries that require specialized methods to control and extinguish. Due to the unique challenges they pose, a combination of firefighting techniques is needed for effective containment. A thermal runaway in a lithium-ion battery cannot simply be stopped by taking the oxygen. As a result, a single fire blanket will not stop the thermal runaway but will prevent collateral damages.
- What is the main goal of the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
The primary objective of the Fire Isolator concept is to isolate and control EV car fires while minimizing collateral damage. It focuses on preventing the fire from spreading and reducing risks associated with toxic fumes and smoke.
- How do you handle EV fires with the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
Firstly, it must be emphasized that – generally speaking – EV fires are rare and significantly lower in frequency than gasoline or hybrid vehicles. The real risk, however infrequent, lies in the potential devastation of these hard-to-handle fires. Fires from Li-ion batteries used in EVs and hybrid cars can burn hotter and longer than gasoline fires and can take tens of thousands of liters of water to extinguish. Such fires can be triggered by damaged batteries, collisions, and during the charging of a defective battery.
When an EV fire occurs, however, using the traditional method to extinguish it, water, does not provide the same outcome as water does with combustion-engined cars. The burning lithium-ion battery cannot be extinguished by throwing water on it. It is of because of the risk of the fire continuing to burn and as a result spreading to other cars, a ship, or a building construction, that the Fire Isolator concept provides a better and more effective way to control such an EV car fire. When the focus shifts from ‘extinguishing’ to ‘ controlling’ , firefighters or crews need to change their mindset to minimize the collateral damages. This is where the true strength of the Fire Isolator concept lies.
The FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept comprises several proven elements:
- High-temperature resistant car Fire Blanket to isolate and control the fire.
- Handheld Aerosol units to suppress the flames and interrupt chemical reactions.
- Water mist lance to reduce toxic fumes, smoke, and keep the car cooled.
- Thermal imaging camera for enhanced situational awareness.
- Training in the concept to ensure proper implementation.
- What role does the Fire Blanket play in the concept?
The Fire Blanket is used to isolate and control the fire, preventing collateral damage. It can withstand high temperatures (up to 1600 degrees C°/ 2900 degrees ℉) and offers control over the situation, although it does not extinguish the battery fire by itself. Furthermore, by pulling the blanket over the car, it provides the ‘ confined space’ that the aerosol units need to be effective in kicking down the flames.
- How do aerosol units contribute to the firefighting of electric vehicles in this concept?
Aerosol units interrupt chemical chain reactions in flames, suppressing the fire and reducing temperatures. This approach is vital in containing the fire and preventing its escalation.
- What is the purpose of the water mist lance in the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
The water mist lance has several purposes within our concept.
The water mist lance can be deployed to spray a fine mist over the Fire Blanket, which helps lower toxic fumes, smoke, and temperature levels. This contributes to keeping the situation under control and reducing hazards. By spraying a water mist over the blanket (car), the blanket becomes more gastight, increasing the effectiveness of the aerosol units.
The water mist lance can also be used to penetrate the battery pack and flood it with water from within. This takes for the fire fighting crew to first locate the battery pack and then penetrate that with the water mist lance.
- Why is a thermal imaging camera used in this concept?
A thermal imaging camera enhances situational awareness by providing real-time visibility of temperature variations. This aids firefighters in assessing the fire’s progress and the effectiveness of their actions.
- What is the significance of submerging the EV car in a dipping container?
Submerging the EV car in a dipping container for a period of time is an essential last step in fully extinguishing the fire and ensuring safety. This process helps to eliminate any remaining risks.
- Is training provided for implementing the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
Yes, training is a crucial component of the Fire Isolator concept. Firefighters are trained in the proper utilization of the concept’s elements to ensure effective firefighting and minimize potential dangers. We regularly organize training days. These trainings take a full day and are 50% theoretical and 50% hands-on with our concept: the blanket, the aerosol units and water mist lance. These training days can take place at one of our locations in the Netherlands or can be organized at a location of your preference, globally. Participants get a syllabus and a training certificate.
- Who developed the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
The Fire Isolator concept was developed by T-ISS Safety Suppliers from the Netherlands, together with a team of specialists with extensive experience in fighting EV car fires. Their expertise led to the formulation of this comprehensive approach to firefighting.
- Has the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept been tested?
Yes, the Fire Isolator concept has been thoroughly tested and proven to be effective in minimizing the collateral damages of an EV car fire. Extinguishing the fire (thermal runaway) in the lithium-ion batteries is close to impossible and can only be done by submerging the car in a dipping container. The Fire Isolator concept prevents collateral damage, brings down the fire’s temperature and wins you time to think about an extraction plan for the car. The concept’s elements have been certified (ISO EN 13501-1, ASMTD6413, ABS) and rigorously examined to ensure their functionality in real-world scenarios. You can view a compilation of various live fire tests from around the world in this video.
- Is the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept suitable for specific locations?
Yes, the Fire Isolator concept is designed for use in various locations such as car parks, garages, car carriers, and ferries where EV fires might occur.
- Can the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept be adapted for different types of EVs?
Yes, the Fire Isolator concept is adaptable and can be applied to different types of electric vehicles, considering the underlying principles of isolating and containing the fire.
- What sets the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept apart from traditional firefighting methods?
The Fire Isolator concept’s strength lies in its comprehensive approach that combines multiple proven techniques. It focuses specifically on the challenges posed by EV car fires, ensuring effective containment and damage reduction.
Fire Blanket FAQ
- What is the Ultimate FI-BL0906 fire blanket?
The Ultimate FI-BL0906 is a high-temperature resistant car fire blanket developed by Fire Isolator. It’s designed to isolate smoke and fire during electric vehicle (EV) car fires. It is made of high silica. You can find the datasheet right here.
- How does the Ultimate FI-BL0906 fire blanket address electric vehicle fires?
This reusable blanket, with high-temperature resistance up to 1600 degrees Celsius / 2900 degrees Farenheit, helps control situations and minimize collateral damage during EV car fires when promptly deployed. It also creates the enclosed space that the aerosol units need to effectively kick down the flames.
- What’s the proper way to deploy the fire blanket?
Deploying the fire blanket effectively requires a minimum of two people. It involves carefully positioning the blanket over the burning vehicle to ensure complete coverage, while handling it with care to avoid damage. This process is shown in this animated video.
- Can the fire blanket alone extinguish the battery fire?
No, while the fire blanket provides control, it cannot extinguish the battery fire on its own. Additional measures are needed for optimal results. However, by pulling the blanket over the burning car, it takes away the oxygen for the rest of the car that is on fire (the burning lithium-ion battery will not be extinguished by taking away the oxygen) so in the end, the fire will be smothered and go out.
- What additional measures complement the fire blanket?
Additional measures include aerosol units that interrupt chemical chain reactions in flames, and a water mist lance to reduce toxic fumes, smoke, and maintain the car’s temperature.
- What other electric vehicles can the fire blanket be used for?
The car fire blanket is versatile and suitable for electric vehicles like e-bikes, e-scooters, and various electric devices. It’s even used to protect artifacts in museums in case of fire and very big blankets are used for busses and other big vehicles or machinery with lithium batteries onboard.
- Why is versatility important for firefighters and organizations?
The fire blanket’s versatility makes it a valuable tool for professionals dealing with diverse fire scenarios. It’s adaptable to various situations, enhancing its usefulness.
- Are there size options available for the fire blanket?
Yes, Fire Isolator can produce fire blankets in various sizes to meet specific needs. Feel free to inquire about size possibilities. The standard sizes are:
- 9 x 6 meters for cars/pick up trucks/small vans
- 3 x 3 meters for eBikes/eScooters and stored lithium-ion batteries
- 2 x2 meters for eBikes/eScooters and stored lithium-ion batteries
- Has the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR blanket been tested and/or certified?
Yes, the Fire Isolator car fire blanket has been rigorously tested according to ISO EN 13501-1 standards to ensure quality and reliability. It was also tested according to ASTMD6413.
- Is the fire blanket suitable for locations like car parks and ships?
Yes, the fire blanket is designed for locations where EVs are in close proximity, such as car parks and car decks on ships, providing a solution for challenging scenarios.
- How does the fire blanket help control toxic fumes and smoke?
The water mist lance accompanying the fire blanket sprays a mist to reduce toxic fumes, smoke, and cool the vehicle, contributing to overall fire control efforts.
- Can the fire blanket be used multiple times?
Yes, the Ultimate FI-BL0906 fire blanket is reusable up 6-7 times, making it a sustainable and effective solution for multiple fire incidents. We base this on our own live tests, where we used the same blanket on 3 different EV/hybrid car fires with the battery in thermal runaway. After these fires, the blanket was visibly used, but usable.
- Who can benefit from using the fire blanket?
Firefighters, emergency responders, and organizations dealing with electric vehicles and fire incidents can benefit from the use of the fire blanket, ensuring enhanced safety measures.
- What material is the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR blanket made of?
The Fire Isolator FI-BL0906 blanket is made of Hi Silica >98%. This material has in general a higher heat resistance than fibre glass.
- What is the weight of the 9 x 6 meters blanket for cars?
The FI-BL0906 blanket weighs 37 kg. It comes in a sturdy carrying bag with user instructions.
Handheld aerosol units FAQ
- What is a handheld aerosol unit used for?
An aerosol unit is a handheld device used by first responders and firefighters to significantly reduce fires, primarily for class A, B, and C fires. It can be activated on the scene and thrown into the fire area to aid in fire reduction.
- How does the aerosol unit work?
The aerosol unit contains solid microparticles, primarily potassium nitrate, which serves as an anti-catalytic agent. When activated, these particles drain energy from the fire, reducing its intensity.
- How do you activate the aerosol unit?
To activate the aerosol unit, straighten the far ends of the pins and pull the pin out. A clicking sound confirms successful activation. The unit begins producing aerosol approximately 8 seconds after activation and discharges within 25 seconds. You can read more about this here.
- What is the average hold time of the aerosol unit?
The average hold time, or time before re-ignition, is around 30 minutes. The hold time depends on factors like leakage and the amount of substance inserted, with smaller volumes leading to longer hold times.
- Can the aerosol unit be used alone?
The aerosol unit is most effective when used in combination with other tools like the Fire Blanket and Water Mist Lance. These tools complement each other to enhance fire control.
- How should aerosol units be used in EV car fires?
When dealing with EV car fires, aerosol units work best when thrown under the vehicle after covering it with the Fire Isolator fire blanket. This strategy ensures that the active substances remain under the blanket and enter the burning vehicle.
- How does the Water Mist Lance contribute to using aerosol units?
The Water Mist Lance wets the Fire Blanket, making it harder for aerosol substances to escape. This helps enhance the effectiveness of the aerosol unit in controlling fires.
- Is there a bracket for holding the aerosol unit?
Yes, there is a bracket on the side of the aerosol unit, designed to make it easy to hold and throw into the fire.
- Is there any health concern associated with aerosol units?
While a normal concentration of aerosol particles is generally safe, inhalation of micro-sized particles may cause short-term discomfort. Unnecessary exposure should be avoided.
- What should first responders do upon arrival?
First responders should inform firefighters and concerned parties about the deployment of the aerosol unit, ensuring coordinated efforts in fire control.
- Can aerosol units be used for all types of fires?
Aerosol units are primarily effective for class A, B, and C fires. These units are designed to handle a range of fire scenarios to aid in fire reduction and control.
- Are aerosol units suitable for all fire situations?
Aerosol units are especially valuable for scenarios where traditional firefighting methods might be challenging or less effective, making them a versatile tool in fire control efforts.
- Can the aerosol unit be reused after activation?
No, once activated and discharged, the aerosol unit cannot be reused. It is a one-time-use device designed for specific fire control situations.
- Are there specific training requirements for using aerosol units?
Training in proper aerosol unit deployment and handling is recommended for first responders and firefighters to ensure effective and safe use in fire control scenarios. How to deploy the aerosol units is shown in this animated video.
- What certificates do the handheld aerosol units hold?
The handheld aerosol unit is the DSPA 5.4 model aerosol generator that holds all the necessary certificates, among which is the ABS testing certificate. The DSPA 5.4 is a low-pressure aerosol unit, which means it can be shipped safely by ship, plane, etc.
- Do the aerosol units have an expiry date?
The aerosol units have a shelf life of 15 years. There is no yearly maintenance needed.
Water Mist Lance FAQ
- What is a water mist lance and what is the role of it in the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
The Water Mist Lance is part of the Fire Isolator concept for controlling and fighting EV car fires. The lance has the ability to penetrate and flood EV car lithium batteries to cool down the batteries in case of fire. However, based on our own experiences and best practices, we advise to use the water mist lance as a way to spray a water mist over the blanket while it is on the burning EV. By doing this, the water mist makes the blanket even more dense, which increases the effect of the aerosol units. The ‘heavier’ and more dense the blanket is, the more confined the space is where the aerosol unit is active, meaning that leakage of the aerosol cloud is minimal.
Electric Vehicle Fires on Ships FAQ
- Can EV car fires on ships be prevented?
No, it’s not possible to prevent EV car fires on ships completely, especially due to the presence of lithium-ion batteries that can enter into thermal runaway. However, the Fire Isolator concept offers a solution to effectively manage and mitigate the risks associated with such fires.
- How should one handle an Electric Vehicle (EV) fire on a ship?
When faced with an EV fire on a ship, water alone isn’t sufficient to extinguish it. The ‘Thermal Runaway’ phenomenon keeps the fire alive inside the battery. Using a fire blanket to isolate the fire is crucial. It won’t extinguish the battery fire but prevents collateral damage. This step should be taken immediately after detecting the fire. Based on several tests performed by the LASH fire project, the best practice to control EV car fires on board ships (ferries and car carriers) is this: Detection of the fire – ventilation system switched off – drenching/deluge system activated – pull fire blanket over car to minimize the collateral damage – manual firefighting – keep surrounding cars wet and/or also pull a blanket over those cars.
- What happens after the fire blanket is placed?
After placing the fire blanket over the car, aerosol units come into play. These units aim to interrupt the thermal runaway and suppress the fire’s intensity, while not fully extinguishing it. The water mist lance then sprays water mist over the blanket to reduce toxic fumes, and smoke, and further cool down the car.
- Why is monitoring with a Thermal Imaging camera recommended?
Monitoring the car with a Thermal Imaging camera is advisable to keep track of the situation. This helps ensure that the fire remains under control and doesn’t escalate.
- What does the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept aim to achieve?
The Fire Isolator concept aims to minimize collateral damage caused by EV car fires on ships. It focuses on isolating the fire to buy time for reaching a safe haven and unloading the vehicle without causing additional harm.
- Can the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept be used for combustion engine cars as well?
Yes, the Fire Isolator concept has been successfully tested on both combustion engine cars and EVs. It offers a versatile solution to address fire risks in various types of vehicles.
- How does the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept contribute to safety on ships?
By effectively managing EV car fires, the Fire Isolator concept enhances safety on ships carrying electric vehicles. It minimizes the chances of fires spreading and causing extensive damage. The use of high temperature-resistant fire blankets is now also included in the latest UK government guidelines for transporting EV’s onboard ships. Read more.
- What benefits does the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept offer for cargo ships?
TheFire Isolator concept provides cargo ships with a proactive approach to handling EV car fires, ensuring that fires are contained and damages are minimized. It offers a level of control that is essential for safe transportation of EVs.
- Is the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept adaptable to various ship environments?
Yes, the Fire Isolator concept is designed to address EV car fires on different types of ships, including cargo ships. It can be applied in scenarios where EVs are transported on water vessels.
- How effective has the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept been in testing?
The Fire Isolator concept has undergone thorough research and live testing. It has demonstrated effectiveness in controlling EV car fires and preventing escalation, as validated by both researchgate.net and practical tests.
- Is the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept a viable solution for the growing EV market?
Yes, with the rising popularity of EVs and their transportation on ships, the Fire Isolator concept offers a viable and practical solution to tackle the challenges posed by EV car fires during shipping.
- Which shipping companies are using the FIRE⚡️ISOLATOR concept?
The Fire Isolator concept is currently in use by the following list of shipping companies: MOL (multiple ships), MSC (Cristiana, Immacolata), Wagenborg (Baltic Borg, Botnia Borg), Neptune car carriers (Neptune Galene, Dynamis, Tharros, Barcelona, Koper) Sunrise, Sunshine, Grimaldi, Fairfield car carriers, Sunbelt Spirit car carrier, Smyrrel line, Holland Norway lines, AdMare ship management. As a result, these shipping companies now have more equipment on board to fight any possible EV car fire.
Electric Vehicle Fires in parking garages FAQ
- Are EV car fires different from a regular (combustion engine) car fire in a carpark?
If a regular, combustion engine, car catches fire in a parking garage, there are now means to extinguish it as soon as possible. Here ‘water’ is the key. However, that same water doesn’t do the job when it comes to putting out an electric vehicle. A lithium battery cannot be extinguished by spraying water over it or removing the oxygen. They can be extinguished by completely submerging the car in a submersible container, but this is either not available in a parking garage, or the car cannot be towed directly outside the parking garage to this container.
- How are EV fires detected in parking garages?
We know of detection systems that are installed in parking garages that monitor the temperature of EV’s. When the temperature reaches 60-70°C (32°F) , this could indicate that a thermal runaway is imminent. The temperature at which the thermal runaway occurs depends on the cell size, cell materials en cell design and it may vary from 130°C to over 200°C. There are several companies that offer these types of monitoring systems. One such company is Siemens.
- How is fire safety managed for electric vehicles in parking structures?
Despite the development of early detection systems that can alert the user when a lithium-ion battery is about to go in thermal runaway, we notice that these systems are often only implemented in the parking spots where EV’s are charged. It is true that the chance of a battery going into thermal runaway is bigger when the car is charged, there are also cases known where a battery goes into thermal runaway without being charged. So, knowing that an Electric Vehicle can park anywhere in the carpark, there is still the risk of big collateral damages if the fire is not detected early enough. The most ideal situation would be for the parking garage crew to be trained and equipped to pull the Fire Isolator blanket over the burning car as soon as possible. The sprinkler system (if available) will keep the surrounding cars wet, but will not be able to extinguish the thermal runaway in the battery of the EV. The challenge for fire fighters here is that pretty soon the carpark will be filled with smoke, which hinders visibility. Still, we strongly advise to pull the Fire Isolator blanket over the car, keep the car wet with a water mist, throw a handheld Aerosol Unit under the blanket to reduce the flames, and to keep the surrounding cars wet. If available, and keeping the blanket on the car, the car should be pulled out of the garage with a remote-controlled tracked robot. Once outside the parking, the car should be submerged under water in a dipping container.
- How does a fire blanket and the Fire Isolator concept help contain electric vehicle fires in car parks?
By pulling over the Fire Isolator, high temperature resistant fire blanket over the (burning) car, the risk of big collateral damages is reduced. The blanket contains the fire. By the nature of carparks, they are places where lots of cars are parked near each other. There is also the risk of the fire affecting the building structure or piping systems. This is why it is essential to have the Fire Isolator concept (blanket, handheld potassium aerosol units, water mist) available on each floor of the carpark. When training and equipped with the right PPE, the parking garage crew can deploy our Fire Isolator concept. If it is needed to wait for the fire fighters to arrive at the garage, they need to have our concept available to be quickly and safely deployed.
You can read more about our advised approach for EV car fires in carparks here: https://fireisolator.com/fighting-and-controlling-ev-car-fires-in-car-parks-and-parking-lots/