Firefighters adopt special blanket to smother car fire without water

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : May 26, 2020, 14:12 | Updated : May 26, 2020, 14:12

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- Firefighters adopted a special blanket made of woven glass fiber fabrics and an inner layer of flame retardant film to smother fires without using water or fire-fighting chemicals.

The fire department in the southeastern province of South Gyeongsang said that the blanket has been tested in two cities to verify its efficiency in putting down fires in cars, electric batteries and energy storage systems. If the blanket is proven to be effective in actual scenes, the fire department would deploy it at all fire stations in the region.

The fire blanket cuts off the inflow of oxygen and prevents fires from spreading. It is also useful in confined spaces such as underground car parking lots and basements where big equipment cannot be accessed. Woven glass fiber fabrics are widely used in many industries because of fire retardant characteristics. A flame-proof layer of special film also has an electrical insulation property that prevents firemen from electrocution in case of short circuits. 

Because no water is required, the fire department in South Gyeongsang regards the blanket as ideal for fires on electric vehicles and energy storage systems (ESSs) in small buildings full of batteries that have the potential of causing chain explosions when they come in contact with water.
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