Lithium batteries are used blankly nowadays; due to immense use in tech and electronic products, they seem to be the main energy source for gadgets. Most of us cannot go even a single hour without using lithium-ion batteries due to their presence in our mobile in laptops, headphone, Bluetooth and wireless battery-operated products. They are everywhere now but, the risk to use them is increased; for sure, these batteries have safety hazards. Most people don’t know what to do if a lithium-ion battery explodes or catches fire?
Sony was the one that introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991; since then, they are used in every common to the complex battery-operated product. They are present near every age group for adults as mobile phones for children are present in different battery-operated toys. Due to the enormous presence, the risk is also increasing day by day. The technology is developing hundreds of new battery-operated products/ gadgets, nearly all using lithium-ion batteries.
This explosion of lithium batteries can cause serious injuries and damage.
So as we know the risk is high, we need to figure out if the battery present everywhere catches fire or explodes.
Few Tips To Follow If Lithium-Ion Battery Explodes or catches fire:
Lithium-ion battery, if it somehow catches fire or explodes, the first thing you should do is soak it in water or any other fire extinguisher to stop fire spreading. Lithium can interact with water due to the presence of metal in it, so just put water in it or douse it in water to stop the fire. But remember to move it out to a safe open place.
Be aware that every cell ahs different molecular structure and they can explode or may catch fire one by one. So don’t just try to put it anywhere near yourself. Just take a fire extinguisher with you and pick it up with any reachable thing (don’t use hands; instead, use any other items).
Wear goggles to cover your eyes and, if possible, cover your face with a mask, then slowly pick it up, maintain a safe distance and put it in sand or any other open place where it cannot damage or harm anything.
As we mentioned, it could react with water, so to be safe from any further damage, try using a foam extinguisher, carbon dioxide gas, or graphite powder. (use whatever is available near you) do reserve the class D extinguisher for any lithium explosion and metal fires only to be safe.
Lithium is a powerful source for storing energy; immensely used in battery operated products and gadgets. So, after all the methods mentioned above, if it is still on fire or exploding cells one by one. You have to place it somewhere open out of reach of every person to let it react completely. Otherwise, it can seriously harm you and things near you.
(Note): only trained or well-informed people should fight the fire caused by the lithium battery explosion as they need serious remedy.
What is a Class D Fire Extinguisher?
We mentioned above that you should reserve some D class extinguishers for fire due to the lithium battery explosion. D class, also known as a dry powder extinguisher, can help you control lithium fire and explosion because they separate the fire fuel and neutralize the reactions causing fire and explosion of cells.
Reasons why Lithium-ion batteries explode?
highly inflammable solvents as their main substance of energy makes lithium battery hazardous. It contains two different electrodes, one made up of lithium oxide and the other of graphite. A thin layer of neutral substance like plastic separates them from each other. The flammable solvent allows the movement of ions which creates energy flow in the whole battery.
Several reasons cause explosions; most of them are related to short circuits in the battery or due to technical problems unattended by the manufacturer.
Main Reasons Of Battery Explosion:
- The manufacturer failed to add enough safety mechanisms; as a result, the buyer can be affected by the explosion of the battery.
- Sometimes manufacturers do not use good quality raw material to reduce costs, resulting in poor movement of ions. It may result in heating or explosion of lithium due to overflow on one side.
- Manufacturers buy off-brand attachments of parts to cut their costs, resulting in excessive energy flow and an explosion.
- Most of the time, the lithium battery gets on fire or explodes due to a short circuit or extra charging.
- Users also miss using batteries, and their excessive use can result in heating and overflow of energy resulting in an explosion.
Well, mostly in the case of lithium battery explosions, manufacturers blame users for misuse. But the evidence is clear that the explosion is due to defects in design by the manufacturer most of the time.
What to do if a lithium-ion battery explosion causes burn or injury?
If you face such an unexpected injury, the first thing you need to do is to wash and remove the cause of burning. Flush the burning material with cool running water on parts where it is stuck. Remove lithium particles if they are stuck with your body parts with any safety equipment like clipper if it is available in first aid box.
hazardous chemical should have contaminated your clothes and jeweler so try to remove them. Remove the perfumed clothes if wearing any as it contains highly flammable alcohol. Try to wash your open or burnt part three to four times and apply a bandage with any anti-burn cream if possible. Remove the battery away from any damageable thing and cover it with any fire extinguisher like D type if available. This will neutralize the chemical reaction and stop flames if any remain.
At last, you can apply bandages again after washing your burn with cold water. Do apply an anti-burn cream. If not available, try coconut oil liquidation to stop freckles of burnt skin.