Lithium-Ion battery fires MGN 681

Are Lithium battery fires harder to extinguish?

Lithium battery fires can indeed be challenging to extinguish due to several factors. Lithium batteries contain highly reactive materials, and when they catch fire, they can release a significant amount of energy and heat. Here are a few reasons why lithium battery fires can be difficult to extinguish:

  1. High energy density: Lithium batteries store a large amount of energy in a relatively small volume. When they catch fire, this energy can sustain combustion and make the fire more intense and difficult to control.
  2. Reactive materials: Lithium-ion batteries contain flammable electrolytes and highly reactive lithium compounds. These materials can react violently with water, which is a common extinguishing agent for fires. In fact, using water on a lithium battery fire can sometimes exacerbate the situation by causing the release of more flammable gases.
  3. Re-ignition: Even if a lithium battery fire appears to be extinguished, there is a risk of re-ignition if the battery cells are not fully cooled down. This means that we need to ensure that the batteries are adequately cooled to prevent the fire from starting again.
  4. Toxic fumes: Lithium battery fires can release toxic fumes and gases, including carbon monoxide and hydrogen fluoride, which can pose additional hazards to firefighters and bystanders.

Because of these challenges it is advisable to use specialized extinguishing agents, such as Trident, to combat lithium battery fires. Additional tactics such as cooling the batteries with water to prevent re-ignition are important while minimizing the risk of exacerbating the fire.

Our products utilise these specialist techniques to help protect you and your property.