Can the Fire Cloak EV fire blanket be used on tackle ICE fires?

This is a question we’re being asked on a weekly basis at Fire Cloak USA and the short answer is: YES it can! A Fire Cloak Electric Vehicle Fire Blanket can be used exactly like a traditional fire blanket to tackle a fire in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

To better appreciate how and why an electric vehicle fire blanket can be used as a fire blanket on any ICE vehicle, it’s important to understand how a fire blanket actually works.

A brief history of the fire blanket
New Yorker, Ephriam Bishop, was one of the first people to file a patent for a fire blanket back in 1911. He presented a sample of heavy, flexible material – thought to be either felt or wool – which he had “properly treated to fireproof”. He didn’t go into any detail about the fireproof treatment process but, 42 years later in 1953, Theodore Harry Diacos from Chicago did.

Daicos’s patent specified a “non-combustible material, preferably of a fabric somewhat light in nature, for which purpose I prefer the modern fibreglass materials.” And here in the UK in the 1970s, fire blankets included asbestos which has since been phased out of modern fire blankets due to its hazardous nature.

Today, fire blankets are typically fabricated using layers of fire-retardant materials, including glass fibre. Kevlar (yes, the material found in bullet proof vests!) with its intrinsic heat-resistant features is also regularly used in modern fire blankets. With fibres five times stronger than steel, it is classified as a low weight, high strength material that is stable at high temperatures. These qualities make it ideal for inclusion in fire blankets.

How does a fire blanket work?
Any fire, whether it’s in a vehicle or a house, requires oxygen. Therefore, if you are able to starve the fire of oxygen, it is possible to control, contain and extinguish the fire. As such, this is exactly what fire blankets are designed to do. Easy to handle in comparison to a fire extinguisher, they can be rapidly placed over an object that is on fire and, in doing so, will effectively smother any flames and put out the fire.

Fire blankets are used in all sorts of different environments including residential and commercial properties, garages and catering & hospitality establishments. Look around next time you take your car for an MOT or you stay in a hotel, chances are you’ll spot at least one fire blanket on display ready to be deployed in case of fire.

Using a Fire Cloak as a traditional fire blanket
The Fire Cloak was designed, first and foremost, to deprive a suspected electric vehicle fire of an external source of oxygen. Once deployed, it is able to control the EV fire and the temperature of the vehicle decreases very quickly thus helping to mitigate any damage to other vehicles and property in the proximity. It also ‘buys time’ for the emergency services. However, it can also be utilised to achieve all of the above when it comes to an ICE fire and with great efficacy.

Manufactured in Great Britain, the Fire Cloak is made of a specialised quartz material with a silicon polymer coating. This high-tech fire blanket fabric engineering offers continuous temperature resistance up to 1,000°C and spikes of up to 1,600°C. It is, therefore, ideal for use in ICE fires and works in exactly the same way on a petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicle. It deprives the fire of oxygen quickly and effectively.