Lithium battery is a part of many electronics, nowadays. Smartphones, medical devices, and cars, everything is equipped with lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are capable of recharging to provide an uninterrupted supply of power. Although these batteries are really advantageous, they may catch fire. To avoid the hazards you must know how to put out a lithium battery fire.
Many risks are associated with lithium batteries, you should know those risks if you are using such batteries, first of all, to avoid a fire and secondly, if a fire occurs then how to put it out.
Reasons for fire in lithium batteries:
The most obvious reason for catching fire is the overheating of the lithium battery. This kind of thermal instability is known as a thermal runaway, it happens when the hot gases are released from the lithium-ion cells in the batteries. The overheating starts from a single cell and affects all the cells in a chain. The time of the reaction varies between milliseconds to hours. The time differs so much due to the reason that how long all the cells take to fail. The heat released in a reaction may be enough to start a fire.
The reasons that trigger a fire in the lithium battery include:
1- Short circuits:
The battery may be stored improperly or may be damaged, or may contain the metal dust retained on it during the manufacturing process. This causes a short circuit which leads to a fire.
There may be extreme temperatures exposure to the batteries when they are loaded on the loading docks, cargo holds, or tarmacs, this can easily cause overheating resulting in a fire.
3- Rough handling:
A lithium battery may catch fire when it is dropped or knocked into. The excessive colliding during transport also causes fire in the lithium batteries.
4- Physical damage:
There is a risk of explosion when the battery is subjected to shredding and dismantling, for the purpose of recycling the battery.
5- Wet/ Humid conditions:
Some reasons like rain, salty air, and humidity may also cause short circuits. In such conditions, the thermal runaway triggers, and the batteries catch fire, even if they are not damaged before.
How to position out a lithium battery fire:
The size and the type of the battery differ, therefore if it catches fire, the ways of extinguishing it also differ.
If you are using the fire extinguisher for putting out the lithium-metal battery fire, choose an extinguisher that is used to knock out the class D fire. In the case of lithium-ion batteries, the fire taking place is categorized as a class B fire. In this fire the fuel may be a flammable liquid, therefore use a dry chemical powder or ABC extinguisher for extinguishing such fire. The fire extinguishers act inversely to the liquid electrolytes in the batteries, hence knocking down the fire.
If the lithium batteries are smaller than size, they contain a lower quantity of lithium and for this reason, only water is enough to extinguish the fire.
If a large-sized lithium-ion battery catches fire, using a CO2 fire extinguisher or ABC dry chemical powder is perfect. If the fire takes place in such a way that the battery is packed, then all the cells will burn at different times, so keep the battery outdoors till it burns completely.
If the fire is out of control and it is impossible to extinguish it, allow the battery to burn completely but keep the surroundings safe.
How to prevent a lithium battery fire?
If you are getting some signals that are giving you a warning of a lithium battery failure, take them seriously. The warning signs may include, an unusual pattern of heating, noise, smoke, or inflammation. To prevent a lithium battery fire, take the following steps:
1- Consider reliable manufacturers while purchasing the batteries.
2- If the batteries are non-rechargeable, do not even try to recharge them.
3- When the battery is fully charged unplug the charger from the battery.
4- Always use a compatible charger with the battery, preferably that comes along with the battery.
5- Keep the batteries saved from high temperatures.
6- If the possibility exists, use a fire-safe charging bag for charging the battery.
7- After the installation of batteries, it is a must to inspect them. Ensure the inspection after recharging the batteries. If you find any damage, do not recharge them.
8- Before storage, detach the batteries from the things they are attached.
If the device that is put on charging transmits extra heat, instantly unplug the power. Separate the battery from the other things and store it in a cool place, letting it cool down. Consider replacing the battery if necessary or call the fire department.
Fire Safety Trading Pvt ltd:
There are many benefits of the lithium-ion batteries. To use them in an effective way, the users must know how to put out the lithium battery fire, and also how to prevent such fires. Preparedness is necessary, although set fires happen occasionally.
Fire Safety Trading Pvt ltd, is the leading provider of lithium-ion batteries. For purchasing contact us now.