Fire fighters are constantly finding ways to reduce the risks of fires. With the rise of electric car usage, comes a new challenge. Electric cars contain large batteries that burn in a particularly noxious way. But now fire fighters have a new strategy: fire blankets. With a specially designed fire blanket, the dangers of an electric car fire are minimized, while water is conserved. Flames and smoke rise incessantly from this electric car. Fire fighters rush to extinguish the blaze once they are alerted. But unlike most flames which are put out with water or foam, they’re using a large white sheet to cover the entire vehicle. Fire blankets like this one are the main strategy for a fire on an electric car. Chen Chen-wen Zhiben Fire Department If you tried to put the fire out with water, you’d usually need six to seven fire trucks of water. Using a fire blanket, you can swiftly reduce the temperature of the burning vehicle. Then we can also use associated equipment to put out the fire in the battery at the base of the car. Electric cars are proliferating, and so are accidents involving electric cars. But putting out a fire is harder in an electric car. Thermal runaway occurs when lithium batteries burn, so it gets hotter and hotter, and it releases toxic substances as it burns. In the past, fire fighters were limited to using large jets of water to cool it down and waiting until the batterywas burned out. When the chemical reaction was over they could finally put the flames out. Now, using a fire blanket, they can reduce the temperature all around the blaze, as well as stop smoke from rising. A special silica gel layer prevents toxic substances and oxygen from passing through, and keeps the lithium battery burning in a contained state, saving both water and manpower. Wang Wen-yi Taitung County councilor We can use the minimum labor and the minimum water as we extinguish the fire on the blazing vehicle. Some of the other advantages of the fire blanket include that it’s easy to operate and store. Two people alone can place it over a burning vehicle. When folded up, it can be stored easily inside many emergency vehicles. In the future, fire fighters plan to also prioritize blankets for other smaller vehicles. With water being such a precious asset, it only makes sense to cherish it.