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What Type Extinguisher for Lipo's??

aussie_g

Veteran

Woodruff, South Carolina, USA

I want to pick up an extinguisher to keep near my charger, but Im not sure what type to use?

Im thinking dry chemical, but Id love to hear from someone who knows...

Gareth

10-05-2009 Over year old.
PickUpThePieces

Heliman

Essex, Vermont

Personal Experience

The Official recommended would be ABC, but any Dry Chemical should work. We had a relatively small pack (3S, 2500ma) go off in our garage, it jetted out into some gasoline, lite some xmas decorations on fire, started up the wall. We put it out with a BC dry chemical. BC is less corrosive to electronics, but depending on what ignites around the pack its best to have ABC.

If you do end up needing to use it, blow out all of your chargers / electronics with a air compressor and wipe everything you can with a damp rag.

Also as a note, keeping it near your charger will not help you very much, we had a ABC that was with the gasoline crate that ended up on fire, We had to find another extinguisher to put it out because that one was engulfed in flames. it actually melted into the plastic crate.

Some really great videos on how to build safe "Battery Bunkers" are on youtube posted by the UTAH Flyers. We built a bunker for ourselves. Everything we charge at home gets put in there. While at the field dont forget LiPo Sacks. $20 bucks for a LiPo Sack is way better than totaling your car.

10-07-2009 Over year old.
Twrecks600

Veteran

Round Rock, Texas

Not to sound naive but do people still charge LiPo's in their car? I would NEVER charge my batts anywhere near my vehicle!!

10-07-2009 Over year old.
MEL760

Senior Heliman

Canton, Michigan-U.S.A.

LOL, does under the hood count??

02-14-2010 Over year old.
Rick_H

Key Veteran

Boulder City, Nevada

The only type of Fire Extinguisher that will work on LiPo Fires is the new Class D (Yellow) Extinguisher. The problem is they are vary expensive. They average around $400.00 each.

You can use an ABC class to keep the fire from spreading but they won't have any effect on the LiPo fire.

Rick

02-14-2010 Over year old.
Raptor Pilot

Veteran

Northern Ireland U.K

Never really thought about that before, i would have thought a dry chemical extinguisher would have damped down a lipo fire. I know it wont put it out but thought it would mabey would stop it spreading.

If it doesnt move and its meant too... use WD 40. If it moves and its not meant too...use duct tape!

02-15-2010 Over year old.
dkshema

rrMaster

Cedar Rapids, IA

Some searching on the web produces all sorts of info. For instance, this taken from an Material Safety Data Sheet for a Lithium Polymer Battery:
In case of fire where lithium ion batteries are present, flood the area with water. If any batteries are burning, water may not extinguish them, but will cool the adjacent batteries and control the spread of fire. CO2, dry chemical, and foam extinguishers are preferred for small fires, but also may not extinguish burning lithium ion batteries. Burning batteries will burn themselves out. Virtually all fires involving lithium ion batteries can be controlled with water. When water is used, however, hydrogen gas may be evolved which can form an explosive mixture with air. LITH-X (powdered graphite) or copper powder fire extinguishers, sand, dry ground dolomite or soda ash may also be used. These materials act as smothering agents.
Note that the water route probably won't put out the fire, but it will keep adjacent batteries cool, perhaps keeping them from joining the fray.

I'd say water is out.

Then note that common CO2, dry chemical, and foam extinguishers -- ABC types, also probably won't put out the battery fire, but can control the other stuff around the burning battery.

Left to themselves, the batteries don't burn LONG, but they DO burn HOT. Very HOT, and very explosively. Look around the web for movies, they're quite informative. A short, hot burst that in and of itself is scary, but if the battery is contained in a non-flammable environment, short lived. It's the other stuff that catches on fire in response to the battery fire that is the bigger problem.

Among the other items noted that keeps popping up wherever you do your search is sand. Plain old dry sand. Dry because Lithium and water make fire, sand because in large quantities, smothers the fire.

And as someone else noted, a CLASS D fire extinguisher, expensive, and designed for METAL fires, and you have to specify WHICH metal fire you're trying to put out.

The best advice seems to be charge in something like a LiPo Sack, or fireproof container. Tend the charger. These aren't batteries that you simply plug in and forget. If you must charge unattended, outside, away from flammables seems to be the best method.

-----
Dave

* Making the World Better -- One Helicopter at a time! *

Team Heliproz

02-17-2010 Over year old.
torombolo

Heliman

PR

Here's mi 2
I work with Hazardous waste everyday, and Li-PO batteries disposal is common, PLEASE don't use water in a Li-po incident, the lithium in the cells are 4.3 (Water reactive per DOT) and D003 (Reactive by EPA)in the event of a rupture cell if possible put away from other things that might catch fire but in the end, just stay away and let it burn itself. One thing that was recomended to me was in the case of a li-po fire trow it in a bucket on mineral oil, of course we don't have a bucket of that leying arund the house but the mineral oil would minimize the moisture content and prety much extinguish.

Just my .02
Good luck and be safe!!

Mmmmmm... I dun know!!!!!

02-24-2010 Over year old.
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What Type Extinguisher for Lipo's??

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