Bridgehill Fire Blanket used in Japan during FIA World Rally Championship

Published 04.09.2023 by Maiken Refsdal

Yone Co., Ltd has donated fire blankets to the fire service headquarters in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture as fire extinguishing equipment for the last round of WRC, Forum 8 Rally Japan 2023.

Pur partner YONE Co., Ltd recently emphasized the crucial role of fire blankets. This content has been sourced from a press release in Japan.

Battery fire

Due to the spread of EVs (electric vehicles) and HEVs (hybrid vehicles), there is a need to grow awareness to deal with battery fires which are difficult to implement, because they can occur in the event of a contact accident. Fire blankets are said to be an effective tool for putting out fires, but they are still rarely purchased by local authorities, and this is the first time we have supplied them to a local government.

The FIA World Rally Championship

The FIA World Rally Championship (referred to as WRC in the text) is one of the worlds largest championships in motor racing, such as Formula 1 (F1) and Formula E (FE). Sponsored by the FIA (Fédération International de l'Bil), it is a competition in which dozens of rally cars travel around the world and drive through roads in different conditions. The Forum8 Rally Japan 2023, the final round of all 13 WRC rounds, will be held in Japan.

Lithium-ion battery

Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in hybrid systems, can experience a phenomenon called thermal runaway due to shock, short circuit, overheating, etc. During thermal runaway, the individual cells that comprise a lithium-ion battery ignite one by one, resulting in a continuous burn that persists until all the stored electrical energy is depleted. This type of fire burns while producing oxygen from inside the lithium-ion battery, so even if the fire is extinguished with a fire extinguisher, it can re-ignite, making it extremely difficult to extinguish.

Bridgehill fire blanket

The Toyota City Fire Department therefore decided to prevent the lithium-ion battery loaded on the WR car from overheating. Due to the potential risk of overheating, they have made the decision to equip their vehicles with Bridgehill fire blankets as a precautionary measure in the event of a fire. By covering a vehicle with the fire blanket - fire, smoke and toxic gases can be instantly trapped inside. This ensures that flames and smoke safely stays isolated even in an EV/HEV fire, which usually are difficult to extinguish.

Environmentally friendly extinguishing methods

Conventional fire extinguishing methods using water or foam generates huge amounts of smoke which may contain harmful substances and contaminated water. Using a fire blanket instead is an extremely environmentally friendly method compared to conventional fire extinguishing methods. This is in line with one of Rally Japan's event concepts, "WITH EARTH/Creating an Environmental friendly event."Yone Co., Ltd. will support the safety and security of Forum8 Rally Japan 2023 through the handling of environmentally friendly fire extinguishing materials. 

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