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LiPO Fire extinguisher help needed

recommendations needed for Class 'D' workshop extinguisher ?

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Vic Clare 110/08/2017 16:02:06
33 forum posts

I am fortunate in that I have a dedicated room within the house that has been converted into a modelling workshop. it has a door to access the patio and extractor fans to keep most of those unpleasant smells and dust out of the rest of the house.

I've recently expanded my fleet into electrics and have a selection of Lipos in a recently purchased Bat Safe which is a great addition. I'm now looking to add a 'CLASS ' D ' fire extinguisher suitable for lipo fires ( just in case ) to my existing class 'A & B' that hangs on one side of the patio door. I would appreciate any thoughts, comments and or guidance and recommendations from fellow members.

All information would be gratefully received.

VC

Braddock, VC10/08/2017 17:51:00
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1626 forum posts
76 photos

For such a vital piece of equipment I recommend you should ask your local fire protection officer for advice. The chances are that any advice you get from a forum, this or any other, is more than likely to be anecdotal rather than objective.

My 2p.

Don Fry10/08/2017 19:08:03
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3827 forum posts
42 photos

Seconded.

Don Fry10/08/2017 19:08:38
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3827 forum posts
42 photos

And tell us what the advice was.

Old Geezer10/08/2017 19:44:39
604 forum posts

On the same subject - keeping LiPos in the house, what in? Is there ANYTHING which would safely confine a LiPo fire sufficiently to prevent the likely smoke damage, as well as preventing the fire from spreading? We're not just talking about a single 3S 2200 here, half a dozen 4S 4000s are an entirely different scale of risk.

After a "big think" I have started to store my batteries outside the house - ok, according to the stat's the chances of any of my well cared for LiPos self-immolating are vanishingly small - but it's going to happen to someone - - - - - and the the insurance claim might be interesting ( has anybody made a successful claim? )

Same question, where do you keep your fireproof box, in the garage - - with your car? Garden shed? OK May to October but outside the house In the winter - frost protection heater?

OK - any constructive suggestions?

flight110/08/2017 19:46:13
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609 forum posts
33 photos

A lipo fire is a chemical reaction , it is self feeding as when it break downs it releases it's own oxygen so it keeps going until exhausted!!

Best safe practice is to store them in a non combustible container (say metal) and have a fire blanket to contain the fire from spreading until exhausted. also a open metal bin with nothing above to throw them in with fire blanket if say you short one out while making connections. I know this as I did short out a lipo a few years ago (4000Mah) and fortunately the back door was open and it went out that way in a blink of an eye to do its think on the paving stones and it is a good thing the door was open otherwise I had no other option at the time and that would have led to a mess !!

Martin Whybrow10/08/2017 19:56:50
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884 forum posts
33 photos

The way airlines deal with Lithium ion battery (valid for LiPos as well) fires is to drop them in a metal bucket and pour water on them; you need to cool the battery down below the point where it's breaking down. You will hear people telling you not to put water on a metal fire - they're correct, but there's no lithium metal in a lithium ion battery so it's OK to use water.

brokenenglish10/08/2017 21:28:51
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452 forum posts
29 photos

Does anyone know what dealers and warehouses, etc. do?

And what about sending the things through the mail. I buy all mine from HK, and they come in a normal, well-protected parcel.

I've been keeping my Lipos aligned on a shelf in my office for the last 5 years. Just making sure that there can be no electrical contact of any kind.

I've seen a demonstration of a Lipo being bashed, and going up in smoke, and a couple of weeks ago there was a story on here of a clown who put all his Lipos in one bag (just asking for contact!), but has anyone ever had a serious problem with properly treated Lipos?

onetenor10/08/2017 22:43:05
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1900 forum posts

Never the less Flight1 a mess is preferable to a fire. Any way in the sink with cold water running on it would reduce any mess.I would far rather replace a sink ( if it was a plastic sink for instance ) than replace a house. Or just the kitchen. If the sink was full of water the Lipo could have gone right in it, or a bucket of water nearby. I try to keep flammables like thinners ,Methanol,etc in a cabinet outside and away from sheds ,feces and flammable parts of the house. My handyman suggested I keep it in a cupboard affair outside built in .I told him to have a really good look at it and let me know what he thought .He came back 5 mins later and said no john can't do it's under the stairs. Yep ,I said ,I know that's why I haven't done it before. You see how easily I could have created a hazard..The point of this anecdote is do please check very very ,carefully where you store any of our hobby kit flammables. I even keep house paint nearby and the garden hose reel permanently connected to the tap and ready to pull out. ( except in frosty weather to avoid bursting the hose which I drain) It is the work of moments to reconnect with snap on joints. I'm very "Fire Aware " Having been on a works fire brigade at a chemical works. Self or easily combusted gear was all over the place and we were often called out. Sulphur and spirit were the hardest to control. Anyway please be careful out there .

John C11/08/2017 07:39:28
100 forum posts
3 photos

Some useful information here **LINK**

Charles Smitheman11/08/2017 08:13:19
226 forum posts
18 photos

"has anyone ever had a serious problem with properly treated Lipos?"

Yes. Many years ago when a 1300 mah 3s pack cost £50!

As I was plugging the connectors in to fly the model the pack short circuited inside and burned briefly, but only at the wiring connection end. This was inside the pack and nothing to do with the bullet connector outside that I was plugging in at the time. On reflection I suspect that there was an insulation fault where the balance wires were connected to the cells inside the pack. As soon as the wire had burned loose from the cell, the fire went out. I was lucky.

So the fire was caused by wiring, and not a spontaneous chemical reaction.

I have also some years back had a new pack where there was a dry solder joint between one of the balance leads and the cell. This utterly confused my charger at the time and it tried to over charge the cell. I was watching and detected it in time. This could have been disastrous.

So in my experience the lipos are more likely to do something nasty whilst they are being handled in any way.

Now I only purchase top brand packs and use a top brand charger.

 

Fire extinguishers: I always have a CO2 extinguisher to hand. These would not extinguish a burning lipo as it releases its own oxygen, but it would help lower the temperature. They are excellent for liquid fires such as petrol. And no mess at all. The problem with all extinguishers is that they don't last very long. And they do nothing if not pointed properly at the base of the flame. Seconds count.

The Wright Stuff11/08/2017 08:21:43
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1383 forum posts
226 photos

I have a bucket of sand, to dump on the Lipo (on a concrete garage floor) if necessary. To be honest, I think the 'best' solution is so highly dependent upon the surroundings, that there won't be a unique 'best' solution for everyone...

Robert Parker11/08/2017 08:43:31
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889 forum posts
1141 photos

Just read through this thread and I like you Vic have a dedicated room in the house as well as a converted attic (a Lipo free zone). I have been using Lipos etc for some time without mishap always charging at 1/2C in a Lipo bag and always good brand batteries and charger and until recently kept my Lipos four of them all 3s upto 6000mAh on the window cill (no direct sunlight until late afternoon) for a couple of years or since dabbling in the dark side.

That is until the last time I went flying where I flew my model and battery on it's second flight which seemed lower on performance than the previous flight. I landed the plane early and retrieved the model where on picking up was red hot, I instantly removed the battery which was ready to burst, thankfully it did not. I have no idea what caused it to do so but I now sore the remaining Lipos in an old pressure cooker in the shed.

Until reading this thread I had not paid much consideration to the fire risk from Lipos but having had 1st hand experience of nearly loosing a model in flight, but the thought of one going up in the middle of the night in the house is not a nice thought indeed.

Regards

Robert

John C11/08/2017 09:24:02
100 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Martin Whybrow on 10/08/2017 19:56:50:

The way airlines deal with Lithium ion battery (valid for LiPos as well) fires is to drop them in a metal bucket and pour water on them; you need to cool the battery down below the point where it's breaking down. You will hear people telling you not to put water on a metal fire - they're correct, but there's no lithium metal in a lithium ion battery so it's OK to use water.

Thanks for this advice which I had not heard before.

There is a good video on this method on the CAA website: **LINK**

Charles Smitheman11/08/2017 15:34:36
226 forum posts
18 photos

Thanks for that link. So the bucket of water is a good idea after all.

OZ e flyer11/08/2017 17:01:32
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142 forum posts
27 photos

Check out bat-safe guys. I think it's a great product. I know it's not the cheapest, but it is so convenient. Safe storage of your lipos and a great safe charging station. I have 2 and love them. It always worried me leaving lipos in my garage, even in a lipo bag. Bat-safe has bought me peace of mind. Check out the web site. Clever design for a metal box.

Martin Whybrow11/08/2017 17:15:39
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884 forum posts
33 photos
Posted by Charles Smitheman on 11/08/2017 15:34:36:

Thanks for that link. So the bucket of water is a good idea after all.

I'm sure somebody mentioned that yesterday wink

flight111/08/2017 17:24:56
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609 forum posts
33 photos

bat safe cheepest y can get it in uk here a nice product It will be on my xmas list

Tom Sharp 211/08/2017 18:23:41
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3459 forum posts
17 photos

Funnily enough I was stuck behind a wagon today which had the slogan on the side 'The first ever fire extinguisher for Lipo batteries'. Unfortunately due to driving conditions I did not get the name but it must be on Google..

Gary Manuel11/08/2017 18:41:58
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1873 forum posts
1507 photos

THIS company sell fire extinguishers for Lithium batteries.

 

Edit - Bargain at £226 surprise

Edited By Gary Manuel on 11/08/2017 18:55:34

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