Northeast Ohio Firefighters Utilize New Technology to Combat Electric Vehicle Fires
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as an environmentally-friendly transportation option. However, as EVs rise in popularity, first responders are discovering new challenges when it comes to fighting fires involving these vehicles. Lithium ion batteries used in EVs can burn hotter and last longer than fires in traditional combustion engines.
Willoughby Hills Fire Rescue in Northeast Ohio recently received a new fire blanket to help address this issue. The fire blanket, specifically designed for vehicle fires and weighing 65 pounds, isolates the oxygen from the vehicle or whatever is on fire, effectively extinguishing the flames. Unlike traditional vehicle fires that require only a few hundred gallons of water, electric vehicle fires often require thousands of gallons of water to extinguish. By using the fire blanket, the need for excessive water is eliminated, reducing the potential for contamination in runoff water.
The fire blanket not only saves water but also reduces the risk of reignition. Reports have shown that electric vehicle fires can reignite even after initial extinguishment. Therefore, the blanket may need to remain on the vehicle for hours or even days to ensure complete safety.
Robert Gandee, the Fire Chief at Willoughby Hills Fire Rescue, acknowledges that the rise of EVs has presented new challenges for first responders. However, he believes that the fire blanket is a valuable tool in addressing these challenges and gives them the ability to handle such incidents effectively.
With the adoption of new technology like the fire blanket, Northeast Ohio firefighters are equipped to safely combat electric vehicle fires and protect both the environment and public safety.