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Are Lithium batteries putting you at risk?

Lithium-based batteries are inexpensive, lightweight, powerful, and environmentally safer than most alternatives. 

They’re a great option for boats, luxury yachts, 4wds, motorhomes, caravans and campers. They enable you to go remote and know you’ll have the power to start the engine and get home.  They allow you a lightweight option to accessorise and run additional systems that put a drain on your electrical power system. 

However, lithium batteries can generate large amounts of energy and there is fire and explosion risk associated with them.

Couple this with often being housed in difficult to access compartments and neglected from regular visual inspection, the risk increases.   Casting your eyes over your lithium batteries is one way to know they are in good serviceable condition?

Another means to mitigate the risk of fire stranding you in the wilds or on the sea is to install automatic fire suppression systems to the compartments housing the batteries.  Excepting for luxury yacht owners, the investment in such systems is not a balanced economical ratio for the cost of installation is a large percentage of the asset value.

The causes of lithium battery failure are varied and not usually within the control of owners for reducing the risk.  Puncture, overcharge, overheating, short circuit, internal cell failure, vibration and manufacturing deficiencies are the main culprits.

So what can you do to keep your lithium batteries from destroying your asset? 

Here are a few tips:

Have your accessories and batteries installed by a competent person

Ensure that the battery selection matches the power requirements

Ensure battery compartments are ventilated

Ensure charging systems are designed for the batteries installed

Ensure the batteries are securely housed and not able to move or vibrate

Install a Fire One automatically operating Suppression Sticker the compartment to extinguish the fire.  You should then Isolate the power (batteries) if safe to do so. 

Until such time as the batteries have cooled there is a risk of re-ignition.  Fire One extinguishers are safe and effective on all types of fire including electrical.  Have yours on standby to prevent re-ignition.

 

 

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