Lithium-ion batteries are a common part of everyday life - at home and at work - and as a result, Lithium battery fires are also a growing problem. There has been a massive increase in awareness of the risks they pose over the last 3 years, and they are now recognised as a serious fire risk and health and safety issue.
Insurance company Aviva is warning customers to take care when charging electrical items after receiving dozens of home fire claims caused by chargers and batteries in 2021.
According to Aviva, “multiple home fire claims this year have been linked to faulty, damaged, or incorrect chargers, or items which were left to charge for too long. Aviva found a common cause of components over-heating, leading to fires in the home and in many cases, damage was exacerbated because customers had put items to charge and then left their homes, enabling fires to take hold.”
Aviva claims involving batteries in 2021 included:
- A fire where e-scooter batteries had been left on charge in the garage (value: £150,000)
- A fire believed to be caused by an exploding e-cigarette battery (value: £140,000)
“Because people don’t tend to think of chargers as a fire hazard, they often leave them unattended, which means the damage can be worse and more disruptive for customers” – Aviva.
Insurance firm Zurich said it has seen claims for lithium battery blazes triple over three years, with most caused by defective batteries, incorrect chargers and items being left on charge for too long.
Third-party batteries which can be bought cheaply on the internet – and don’t always meet safety standards – are also to blame.
Not many people know or are aware that there is an extinguisher to put out this type of fire and that in fact it is the only extinguisher that will put it out, the Firechief Lith-Ex Extinguisher.
Firechief Lith-Ex extinguishers contain Aqueous Vermiculite Dispersion (AVD), a revolutionary fire extinguishing agent. The water content of the extinguisher cools the fire source, while the Vermiculite platelets encapsulate the fuel source creating a thermal barrier to prevent the propagation of the fire. The Vermiculite film is not electrically conductive. AVD is nearly twice as effective as water on Class A fires and is environmentally friendly.
Firechief Lith-Ex extinguishers are designed to suppress Lithium battery fires in their infancy before developing into a fully established fire. They can also be used to protect against fires where batteries are stored or charged.
The Firechief Heavy Duty Lithium Battery Fire Blankets, Fire Suppression Kits and Fire-Resistant Containers are designed for the safe storage and transit of Lithium batteries and the smaller devices which contain them.
Which product for which risk?
We have created a product selector on our website to help you identify which product/s is best suited to manage your particular lithium battery fire risk
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The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where felt necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.