How to Extinguish Lithium Battery Fires

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

While batteries in common use are generally safe, the question does arise about what happens when they catch fire. This may be because of thermal runaway or physical trauma. Any fire can run out of control; foreknowledge is therefore essential. Especially if you need to extinguish lithium battery fires, and water seems the obvious solution.

How Damaged Lithium Batteries React to Water

We posted a high school experiment further on in this post. We did so because, although this does not appear dangerous we wanted to point out the research assistant wears protective clothing and is not working alone.

This experiment shows that broken lithium batteries are considerably more toxic in the presence of water than other similar-size cells. Hence, we should avoid attempting to extinguish lithium battery fires with water. The primary reason is lithium burns in the air we breathe. And moreover reacts with water to form explosive hydrogen that may develop a chain reaction.

Explainer Video Showing a Broken Lithium Battery in Water

How to Extinguish Lithium Battery Fires Safely

Water is clearly not a lithium battery’s friend. It may ignite during thermal runaway, or in the presence of an adjacent fire. When a lithium battery overheats for whatever reason, it expands rapidly causing short-circuits inside.

This may spontaneously release energy that can ignite adjacent cells when it explodes. Emergency personnel must wear protective clothing, especially eye-protection, respirator, and rubber gloves. Extinguishing a lithium battery fire is not something you or we should attempt. We provide this information in good faith along the lines we understand.

Never attempt to extinguish lithium battery fires yourself. Your health and safety are far more important. Please call the emergency services instead as these are Class D fires.

Related

NYC Disapproves of Big Lithium Batteries in Buildings

Lithium Battery Toy Fire Displaces 10 People

Preview Image: Lithium Burning Bright in the Night

Video Share Link: https://youtu.be/HfCO7ZV8E7I

Share.

About Author

Richard

I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast. I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

Leave A Reply