Mitigating Risks Associated with Lithium-Ion Batteries 

The demand for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries has drastically increased since their emergence  in the early 1990s. These high-energy-density power sources have become integral components of a wide array of our daily devices, ranging from laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and smartwatches to e-scooters and the popularity of electric cars.

With their compact form, reduced weight, and increased power capacity compared to conventional batteries, lithium-ion batteries are poised to grow in popularity, especially as our world advances technologically and emphasises sustainability. According to research the global lithium-ion battery market is set to be valued at $189.4 billion over the next decade.

Alongside the advantages of lithium-ion batteries there are also risks that need to be considered. One of these risks is potential fire and explosions. Under typical usage conditions, lithium-ion batteries are generally safe. However, when subjected to damage, they can trigger a chemical reaction within the battery, causing the internal control chip to short-circuit. This rapid overheating can lead to a fire outbreak.

Mitigating Risks Associated with Lithium-Ion Batteries

UK guidelines for fire protection of lithium-ion battery storage are currently lacking, however the Fire Protection Association (FPA) offers recommendations. Take a look at their leaflet here.

Furthermore, there are other precautionary measures you can adopt to reduce risks, including:

  • Adhering to the manufacturer’s usage instructions diligently.
  • Avoiding exposure of batteries to high temperatures or direct sunlight.
  • Using reputable, brand-specific chargers designed for the battery in use.
  • Vigilantly checking for signs of physical damage.
  • Educating your teams about potential risks and establishing a clear plan of action in the event of a fire.
  • Considering safe disposal methods for batteries, such as placing them in a lidded metal container away from other waste materials.

Crucially, any businesses dealing with lithium-ion batteries must conduct a comprehensive fire risk assessment covering aspects such as handling, storage, usage, and charging procedures. This is essential to ensure the safety and security of both the business and its stakeholders.

Get in touch with one of our experts today who will be able to advise and provide all the information you need. Call 01342 580106

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