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Fighting and controlling EV car fires in car parks and parking lots

The solution to isolate EV car fires

Fighting and controlling EV car fires in car parks and parking lots

electric vehicle fire carpark

An electric vehicle (EV) where the lithium-ion battery catches fire as a result of overheating or short-circuiting is a problem anywhere on earth. But especially if this happens in a full car park or parking lot where the burning EV is surrounded by many other cars, structures and people and an entire building is at risk of being affected by the fire. Also, the floors and ceilings in the average parking garages are not designed for fires that can reach a peak of above 1000°C.

EV car fires are different

If a regular 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.

EV fire carparks

Fire Isolator concept is your ‘first line of defense’ for EV fires in car parks

The most important thing to do in the event of an EV car fires in a car park or parking lot is to ensure that the fire does not spread to other cars or the building. That is the first step in the Fire Isolator concept:

1. Place the (ISO tested, reusable, holding up to 1600°C fires) fire blanket over the car and make sure that the blanket around the car has ample contact with the ground. If there are monitoring systems (companies such as Equans and Siemens provide this) that detect that the battery of an EV is heating up, this can be done by wearing people without PPE. If the flames are already shooting out of the car, this must of course be done by people wearing PPE.

At this point, the fire has been controlled in the sense that the fire will no longer spread to surrounding cars or the building. The EV itself is of course a total loss.

If placing the blanket means climbing over other cars to place it, so be it. Controlling the EV fire has absolute priority over the few scratches that can appear on the roof of a parked car.

2. Now that the car is covered by the blanket, the fire is under control but the fire continues, at least in the battery. There are fire blanket suppliers who claim that the blanket alone lowers the temperature of the fire. That’s true when it comes to the rest of the car, where cutting off the oxygen smothers the fire. However, the fire in the lithium battery continues. If the blanket is taken off, the fire in the battery will continue.

EV fire carparks

That is why we use the handheld aerosol units in the Fire Isolator concept. This aerosol unit, after it has been activated, should be thrown under or in the car, as close as possible to the burning battery. The active substances of the aerosol are solid microparticles

that fill the compartment (created by the blanket over the car) completely and attack the combustion process at a chemical level. As a result, the flames are instantly knocked down and the energy is removed from the fire.

If the blanket touches the ground as closely as possible all around the car, a closed space is created for these aerosol units, which maximizes the effect.

With these aerosol units, during our multiple tests on burning EVs, we reduced the flames from the lithium battery to the point that we could safely tow the car out of the situation.

3. By means of the water mist lance we spray water over the blanket (with the car underneath) in order to minimize the smoke development and the rise of toxic gases.

The water mist lance can in principle also be used to pierce the battery itself and let it overflow with water, but in our experience you do not have the luxury and time to look for this battery in the car with an EV fire in a parking garage. For this, a large part of the interior has to be removed first and all the while the flames are shooting out of the car with all the consequences that entails.

EV fire carparks

Fire Isolator should be present in every car park

Let it be clear that the Fire Isolator concept is not a magic trick that can put out a burning EV in minutes.

What it does deliver is a first line of defense and avoiding collateral damage. By using the concept, time is saved and cars parked next to it are also prevented from catching fire, or even the building.

The Fire Isolator concept, which can be stored in its entirety in a sturdy box on every floor of a parking garage, must be deployed quickly.

Many car carriers, ferries and parking garages have already preceded you.

View the demo and live tests of the Fire insulator concept here.

Read more about our concept here.

Interested? Then contact us today or send an email to sales@fireisolator.com

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