Lithium-ion batteries are present in the majority of technology we use these days, from smartphones to electric cars. While they are generally safe when managed properly, it’s important to understand the risks associated with them. These batteries store a large amount of energy in a compact space, and if damaged or improperly handled, they can overheat and catch fire—a process known as thermal runaway. 

However, with proper usage and handling, the risks of lithium-ion batteries remain low. By understanding how lithium-ion extinguishers can help mitigate these risks, you can ensure greater safety and peace of mind.

When to Use a Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Extinguisher

The right moment to use a lithium-ion battery fire extinguisher is as soon as you notice any smoke, heat, or swelling coming from a lithium-ion battery. Quick action is crucial to prevent the fire from escalating into a more dangerous situation. These extinguishers are specifically designed to cool the battery down quickly, stopping the thermal runaway process in its tracks. Always make sure that you have immediate access to the battery, as the extinguisher agent needs direct contact to be effective.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Prevention is your first line of defence. Avoid overcharging and storing batteries in hot or poorly ventilated areas to reduce the risk of a fire. Regularly inspect your batteries for any signs of damage or wear, and replace them if necessary. By being proactive, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a lithium-ion battery fire.

How Lithium-Ion Extinguishers Work

Lithium-ion battery fire extinguishers use F-500—a multi-purpose firefighting agent—to effectively cool and suppress fires. The F-500 solution is the first agent proven to extinguish lithium-ion batteries without reignition. The key to their effectiveness lies in the extinguishing agent’s ability to reach the battery directly. Fire extinguishers generally work by removing at least one of the three key elements that keep a fire alive: oxygen, heat, and fuel. However, lithium-ion batteries burn at extremely high temperatures (>1000°C) and do not require oxygen to burn.

Extinguishing Fires in Large Lithium-Ion Batteries

In scenarios involving large lithium-ion batteries, such as those in electric vehicles, putting out a fire may take longer and require a persistent application of the extinguishing agent to guarantee the fire is completely contained. It’s important to maintain a steady flow of the agent to fully cool the battery and prevent reignition, especially with larger batteries that store more energy and generate more heat.

The Role of Fire Blankets

In addition to extinguishers, fire blankets can be a handy tool for smaller incidents involving lithium-ion batteries. They smother the fire, cutting off the oxygen supply, and help cool down the battery. However, for larger batteries or more significant fires, a fire extinguisher for lithium-ion batteries is indispensable.

Where to Place Your Lithium Fire Extinguisher

Strategic placement of lithium battery extinguishers is key. They should be easily accessible wherever you charge or store large quantities of lithium-ion batteries, such as garages, workshops, or near charging stations in commercial settings. Consider placing them in areas where batteries are handled frequently or where there’s a higher risk of overheating.

Your Trusted Partner for Lithium-Ion Fire Safety

At Betta Fire Protection, we’re here to put your mind at ease. Our experts provide reliable products and services that safeguard against lithium battery fires, ensuring your environment remains safe and compliant. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Supply and Installation: We provide and install the right type of lithium-ion fire extinguisher tailored to your specific needs, with optimal placement for maximum safety. 
  • Testing and Maintenance: Regular checks and maintenance are essential to keep your fire safety equipment in top condition. Our team conducts thorough tests and inspections, so your extinguishers are always ready for action.
  • Training: Knowing how to use a lithium-ion fire extinguisher is just as important as having one. We offer comprehensive training programs to empower you and your team with the skills and confidence needed to handle emergencies.
  • Expertise You Can Trust: With over 40 years of experience in the fire safety industry, our team has the knowledge and expertise to provide top-notch service and advice. We stay updated on the latest technologies and fire safety standards in NSW to offer you the best solutions.

Equip Yourself with a Fire Extinguisher for Lithium-Ion Batteries Today

Don’t wait for a fire emergency to find out you’re unprepared. If you’re managing anything from phones and laptops to electric vehicles, having adequate lithium-ion fire extinguishers on hand is critical.

Need to install or test your lithium battery extinguishers? Contact us on (02) 8669 9100 today to find out how we can assist you.