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Lithium Battery Fire Extinguishers

BAFE accredited

Lithium Battery Fire Extinguishers

More and more of the electronic goods we use are being powered by lithium-ion batteries. From our mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other personal devices to larger things like cars, scooters, solar panels, forklift trucks and other industrial equipment, they now play a vital role in modern life.

But along with their undoubted usefulness there comes new risk, because as we produce, store and transport more and more of these batteries and the devices that need them to function, the risk of lithium-ion battery fires increases. These can be caused by a number of factors, including internal cell failure, manufacturing defects, charging issues, overheating and improper usage.

Thankfully, lithium-ion battery fires are rare, but they do happen. And a lithium-ion battery fire cannot be safely extinguished using any of the usual fire extinguishers, so if these batteries are an important part of your business – whether you’re using them or storing them – you need to consider getting a specialised extinguisher to deal with the risk.

What are lithium battery fire extinguishers?

Lithium-ion battery fires are unlike most other fires, and when they start they can burn fiercely, spread quickly and potentially explode. Once there’s an issue with one cell, it will quickly spread to others – a process known as a ‘thermal runaway’ – while a lithium-ion battery fire can also release toxic gases into the air.

Using standard fire extinguishers won’t put these kinds of fires out, while some – particularly water-based extinguishers – could make the situation dramatically worse.

So lithium battery fire extinguishers, also known as lith-ex fire extinguishers, have been developed to deal with this specific risk.

How do lithium battery fire extinguishers work?

Our lithium battery fire extinguishers contain an extinguishing agent called Aqueous Vermiculite Dispersion (AVD). Despite what we said earlier about water-based extinguishers, these do contain some water, which is used to cool the fire, but to prevent the further damage that might then otherwise be caused, the fuel source is immediately enveloped by the vermiculite to create a thermal barrier and so prevents the fire from spreading further.

And because the vermiculite doesn’t conduct electricity, the whole area can be quickly rendered safe. If that’s not enough, the other bits of good news are that vermiculite is safe to use in confined spaces, is considerably more effective on Class A fires than water, and is even an environmentally-friendly material.

If you would like to discover more about lithium battery fire extinguishers from Fire & Safety Group – or about any of our other extensive range of fire extinguishers – please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today.

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