EMERGENCY SAFETY ALERTLithium Battery Fires
Lithium batteries are becoming very
popular for powering the control and power systems in our models. This
is true because of their very high energy density (amp-hrs/wt. ratio)
compared to NiCd’s or other batteries. With high energy comes increased
risk in their use. The principal risk is FIRE which can result from
improper charging, crash damage, or shorting the batteries. All vendors
of these batteries warn their customers of this danger and recommend
extreme caution in their use. In spite of this, many fires have occurred
as a result of the use of Lithium Polymer batteries resulting in loss
of models, automobiles, and other property. Homes and garages and
workshops have also burned. A lithium battery fire is very hot (several
thousand degrees) and is an excellent initiator for ancillary
(resulting) fires. Fire occurs due to contact between Lithium and oxygen
in the air. It does not need any other source of ignition, or fuel to
start, and burns almost explosively. These batteries must be used in a
manner that precludes ancillary fire. The following is recommended:
- Store, and charge, in a fireproof container; never in your model.
in a protected area devoid of combustibles. Always stand watch over the
charging process. Never leave the charging process unattended.
- In the
event of damage from crashes, etc, carefully remove to a safe place for
at least a half hour to observe. Physically damaged cells could erupt
into flame and after sufficient time to ensure safety, should be
discarded in accordance with the instructions which came with the
batteries. Never attempt to charge a cell with physical damage,
regardless of how slight.
use chargers designed for the specific purpose, preferably having a
fixed setting for your particular pack. Many fires occur in using
selectable/adjustable chargers improperly set. Never attempt to charge
Lithium cells with a charger which is not specifically designed for
charging Lithium cells. Never use chargers designed for Nickel Cadmium
charging systems that monitor and control the charge state of each cell
in the pack. Unbalanced cells can lead to disaster if it permits
overcharge of a single cell in the pack. If the batteries show any sign
of swelling, discontinue charging and remove them to a safe place
outside as they could erupt into flames.
important: NEVER PLUG IN A BATTERY AND LEAVE IT TO CHARGE UNATTENDED
OVERNIGHT. Serious fires have resulted from this practice.
- Do not attempt to make your own battery packs from individual cells.
Safety Committee Academy of Model Aeronautics 5161 E Memorial Drive, Muncie, IN 47302These
batteries CAN NOT be handled and charged casually such as has been the
practice for years with other types of batteries.. Wow Hobbies is not
reponsible or liable for the resulting property damage and/or personal
harm from these batteries.