Lithium Battery Fires

Lithium Battery Fires

Lithium Battery Fires are becoming a common part of everyday life, at home and at work. They are common in power tools, computers, personal devices, scooters/bikes, cars, forklift trucks, factory equipment, and much more.

The dangers they pose are prominent as Lithium battery fires can be caused by physical impact, overheating, internal cell failure, short circuits, or manufacturing defects.

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Why Lithium Batteries Catch Fire or Explode

Lithium batteries are made to deliver high output with minimal weight. Battery components are designed to be lightweight, which translates into thin partitions between cells and a thin outer covering. The partitions or coating are fairly fragile, so they can be punctured. If the battery is damaged, a short occurs. This spark can ignite the highly reactive lithium.

Another possibility is that the battery can heat to the point of thermal runaway. Here, the heat of the contents exerts pressure on the battery, potentially producing an explosion.

The risk of fire or explosion increases if the battery is exposed to hot conditions or the battery or internal component is compromised.

What is thermal runaway?

Thermal runaway is the chemical process within the battery that produces heat and chemical gases very quickly before any flame appears.

These gases are not something you would want to be exposed to. They are vented from the cells as a vapour cloud.

Extinguishers for Lithium Battery Fires

The Lith-Ex range of fire extinguishers distributed by Trade Fire Safety are the only extinguishers proven to deal with fires involving lithium batteries. The range of lithium extinguishers include small domestic units of 500ml through 1ltr, 2ltr 6ltr, 25ltr and 50ltr models. We also supply a range of suppression kits and fire blankets for lithium battery fires.