FM Global Releases Results of Lithium Ion Battery Fire Tests

May 14, 2013

Commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global has completed the first-ever large scale fire tests of lithium ion (li-ion) batteries in warehouse storage and released a research technical report describing the associated fire hazards and protection recommendations for these increasingly popular rechargeable batteries.

The first-of-its-kind project was conducted in conjunction with the Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG) through the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Protection Research Foundation to better understand the fire hazards at the forefront of this prevalent technology.

The research was conducted at the FM Global Research Campus in West Glocester, R.I.

Among the key findings of FM Global’s research:

  • Li-ion batteries present several unique fire hazards when involved in a fire, due to an ignitable electrolyte liquid contained within such products.
  • Densely packed li-ion cylindrical cells and polymer cells behave differently than li-ion power tool packs in such fires.
  • When bulk stored in corrugated board cartons, early fire extinguishment and cooling of the li-ion batteries is imperative to properly protect a facility.
  • Existing protection solutions used for other types of high hazard products and materials can be effective for protecting li-ion batteries stored in bulk arrangements.

Source: FM Global

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