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Fire extinguishers


GrumpyGnome
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A couple of years ago a fellow flier lost control of his FMS Olympus and it went into a field of wheat. Next moment smoke and as he can’t move very quickly a couple of us ran to the crash to find LiPo pack had been ejected and was merrily burning away. All we had with us was a couple of bottles of water (chaps with fire extinguisher hadn’t caught up) so we poured the water onto the LiPo to prevent the crops from catching light. We must have been lucky as the fire was extinguished by the water. 
 

My ‘extinguisher’ of choice for LiPo fire is a bucket of sand, assuming LiPo is on the ground and not embedded within an airframe.

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3 minutes ago, GrumpyGnome said:

Back on topic, maybe I should change the safety rules and remove the need for fire extinguishers specifically for petrol engines and state something like..... "due to the volatile nature of fuel and batteries, it is recommended that all fliers have a suitable fire extinguisher on hand". 

My clubs don't make it a rule but make us aware that extinguishers, fire blankets and buckets of sand are located in the cabin for everyone's use should they be needed.

The same with bin bags 😭 to take away the remains even if there wasn't a fire, mine are very helpful clubs.

 

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4 hours ago, Rich Griff said:

I can't post a link ( don't know how to other than writing the firm's address, but if you Google the name it will show you details and a website button ) or copy and paste, it's an internet mobile phone.

 

The text that explains the non rechargable and chargeable lithium batteries seems to offer confusing ( to me ) advise bearing in mind 4max say do not use water on a lipo, lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, hence the "confusion" I have.

 

The rcgroup has nine pages relating to a chap who went on holiday, to return to a badly damaged house, fire and smoke damage. The fire started in the room used to charge lipo batteries.

 

I wonder what house insurance firms think about this these days ?

 

Anyway, more reading to do.

You're asking people to specifically comment on a specific piece of text but you won't provide a link to that specific piece of text? You are asking folks to google, but not providing the name of the form to google.

 

Can't you just type the URL of the webpage that you are referring to?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ron Gray said:

A couple of years ago a fellow flier lost control of his FMS Olympus and it went into a field of wheat. Next moment smoke and as he can’t move very quickly a couple of us ran to the crash to find LiPo pack had been ejected and was merrily burning away. All we had with us was a couple of bottles of water (chaps with fire extinguisher hadn’t caught up) so we poured the water onto the LiPo to prevent the crops from catching light. We must have been lucky as the fire was extinguished by the water. 
 

My ‘extinguisher’ of choice for LiPo fire is a bucket of sand, assuming LiPo is on the ground and not embedded within an airframe.

Good choice - established early on as a good choice for a lipo fire, provided that the battery isn't in a model, as you say.

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18 minutes ago, Don Fry said:

I would say, EarlyBird, you might consider a glow motor, or even petrol.

Neither will burn your house down.

I have a Saito FG21, just the one. Loads of Lipos which will not burn my house down. I just don't understand this idea that batteries will inevitably burst into flames for no good reason. Samsung did but that was stupidity by a supplier. I am not known for my stupidity, mind age is taking a toll. 

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So, what is the point of this conversation. Shift the lipo’s to your bed. And the charging system. At least the warm glow if it goes wrong might get you out of the house.

No good reason equals a bored underpaid battery assembler, just dumped by love interest, paying attention to your battery, through the tears.

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8 minutes ago, Don Fry said:

So, what is the point of this conversation.

For me none. Apart from fire extinguishers in the pits that is. I am forced to read all the off topic posts so that I don't miss the relevant ones. I don't mind it does pass the time while I wait for glue to dry.  

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So, your pride and joy bursts into flames. In the pits.

1. No extinguishers, walk away, lose the model. It’s a toy aircraft, you don’t break these things?, dumbthumbs. I know I do. Pit table needs a coat of paint after, at worst.

2. Having invested in an extinguisher, load of money, you place yourself at risk, to salvage a semi burnt, soaked wreck. Net worth, less than the residual value, after deducting the extinguisher cost.

 

Where is the profit? And you risk you skin for that? A toy plane!

 

We are entering a very public argument here, and I’m exiting this argument. Read my post, 7 hours ago. You are worth more than a toy plane. 

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8 hours ago, Don Fry said:

So, your pride and joy bursts into flames. In the pits.

1. No extinguishers, walk away, lose the model. It’s a toy aircraft, you don’t break these things?, dumbthumbs. I know I do. Pit table needs a coat of paint after, at worst.

2. Having invested in an extinguisher, load of money, you place yourself at risk, to salvage a semi burnt, soaked wreck. Net worth, less than the residual value, after deducting the extinguisher cost.

 

Where is the profit? And you risk you skin for that? A toy plane!

 

We are entering a very public argument here, and I’m exiting this argument. Read my post, 7 hours ago. You are worth more than a toy plane. 

I have the same view Don. At work I was trained to use extinguishers, what I learned was how ineffective they are and so in the event of a fire call the professionals and evacuate. Maybe as on that course was the only time I have ever touched an extinguisher says it all. Extinguishers are not cheap to buy and maintain and some modelers are on a tight budget. I can do without more rules and more equipment to cart to the pits. I have no problem with my club providing and maintaining extinguishers which I think is the right approach for a club to take.

 

Extinguishers in the home is off topic but as we have strayed there somehow my view is the same walk away and call the professionals. Shed, garage or house burns down no problem I will stand back and watch thereby making sure I am around to rebuild. 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Don Fry said:

So, your pride and joy bursts into flames. In the pits.

1. No extinguishers, walk away, lose the model. It’s a toy aircraft, you don’t break these things?, dumbthumbs. I know I do. Pit table needs a coat of paint after, at worst.

2. Having invested in an extinguisher, load of money, you place yourself at risk, to salvage a semi burnt, soaked wreck. Net worth, less than the residual value, after deducting the extinguisher cost.

 

Where is the profit? And you risk you skin for that? A toy plane!

 

We are entering a very public argument here, and I’m exiting this argument. Read my post, 7 hours ago. You are worth more than a toy plane. 

It's generally not about saving the model, or the pack -it's more about stopping the fire spreading from the initial site of ignition.

 

The fire in the model that I referred to earlier was at a fly-in and since, at the time, it was perfectly normal and acceptable to charge flight batteries either from your own car battery or, preferably, from a leisure battery. That mean that models were, again quite acceptably, being charged in the car park and the fear was that the fire could spread to vehicles, with catastrophic results. Entirely due to that incident the club changed their rules and in subsequent years provided charging batteries and a charging table in a safe location, where all batteries had to be charged-no charging allowed in the car park.

 

We had a model fire following a crash once at the club field. The powered glider ploughed in from height, following the loss of an outer wing panel in flight. As a result the ESC and receiver pack were destroyed in a small fire -funnily enough the lipo pack emerged unscathed in that incident. That small fire took several bottles of water to put out and the model was severely damaged -essentially a write off- it wasn't about saving the model though, it was about stopping the fire spreading to the long grass where the model had crashed. I completely agree that nobody should put themselves in danger attempting to fight a fire- but that's not really why fire extinguishers are provided or carried- they are there to stop a fire before it really starts in earnest.

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When I started using lipos & only had a few, I stored them (& if at home charged them) in an otherwise redundant Pyrex casserole pot. As an extra precaution, during times in storage, I placed a plastic bag full of sand like this one on top of the pot. Idea being that if any lipo burst into flame & the pot got hot enough the plastic bag would melt & engulf the pot with the sand.

However it was never put to the ultimate test. 👍 

Edited by PatMc
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Near the begining of this thread someone said they got a "Lithex" extinguisher from Fire safe direct.

 

I visited the company site and read info on that extinguisher.

 

To be fair it did not describe the lithex extinguisher as being correct for a lipo battery fire.

 

So goto fire safe direct

Home page

Click fire extinguishers

Click fire extinguishers

Click li ion battery extinguisher

Scroll down down down to text ...."secondary cell" onwards...."effectively douse these fires with water.

 

????

 

4max lipo specific safety sheets say do not use water, hence my confusion.

 

The Fire exo vidio was impressive, a mobile phone fire on a car passenger seat...

 

Anyway waiting for feedback back about li ion and lipo thread....

 

As said I am new to lithium batteries and a little confused/unsure/ignorant about them, but have seen over 250 reported incidents about lipo's on rcg thread. That's the incidents that have been reported, so the true incident number, for what ever reason, will be more ?

 

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There was a description of how the Lith-Ex fire extinguisher is supposed to work right back at the beginning of the thread, by the suspension of a fine vermiculite in water - the vermiculite supposed isolates the fire source and the water cools it. That description is repeated on the website. 

https://www.safefiredirect.co.uk/fire-extinguishers-equipment/fire-extinguishers/lithium-ion-battery-fire-extinguishers/firechief-500ml-lith-ex-fire-extinguisher.aspx

There  has been some skepticism expressed in this thread, but the video shown was quite convincing.  Note that there are videos online which show lipos venting with flame whilst underwater. 

 

The main thing is to not get into a situation where you would need a fire extinguisher at all and there are sound protocols in place to mitigate against that risk. There are tens of thousands of modellers using Lipos quite safely around the globe and many millions of people using Lipo and Li-Ion batteries in their everyday lives without any specialist provision of particular types of fire extinguisher. Frankly it isn't worth worrying about whether you prefer to take advice from an e-flight retailer or from a fire extinguisher retailer. Personally I'm content in having a couple of ABC dry powder extinguishers to hand.

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