EV fire blankets

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The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) recently showcased a new weapon in their arsenal for fighting electric vehicle (EV) fires – the EV fire blanket. This innovative tool is designed to address the unique challenges posed by EV battery fires, which can be more difficult to extinguish than traditional gasoline-powered vehicle fires.

EV fires present a different challenge for firefighters compared to conventional car fires. The main concern is thermal runaway, a process where a battery cell overheating triggers a chain reaction, causing the entire battery pack to heat up rapidly and release flammable gases.

The EV fire blanket is a large sheet made from a specially treated, high-temperature fiberglass cloth. During a fire, firefighters deploy the blanket over the burning vehicle. The blanket acts as an insulator, suppressing the oxygen supply and helping to cool the battery, ultimately stopping the thermal runaway process.

Key Features of the Demonstrated EV Fire Blanket:

  • Made from high-temperature fiberglass cloth
  • Thickness: 0.6 mm
  • Size: 6 meters wide x 8 meters long
  • Weight: 39 kg
  • EN13501-1 and NFPA 701 certified
  • Suitable for most EVs on the market
  • Operating temperature: Up to 700°C
  • Melting point: 1,600°C

In February 2024, SIRIM QAS, a Malaysian company specializing in testing and certification, launched a program to ensure the quality and effectiveness of EV fire blankets. This initiative, endorsed by Bomba, involves testing blankets according to specific standards and issuing certifications to compliant products.

The demonstration of the EV fire blanket and the launch of the SIRIM QAS certification program are positive steps towards enhancing EV fire safety in Malaysia. These measures will equip firefighters with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively respond to EV fire emergencies, promoting safety for both EV users and first responders.

For additional details on EV fire blankets and fire safety best practices for EVs, you can explore resources from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) or the Malaysia Zero Emission Vehicle Association (MyZEVA).

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