Lithium Battery Fires
Lithium batteries are becoming very popular for powering the control and power systems in our models. This is true because of their very high energy density (amp-hrs/wt. ratio) compared to NiCd's or other batteries. With high energy comes increased risk in their use. The principal risk is FIRE which can result from improper charging, crash damage, or shorting the batteries. All vendors of these batteries warn their customers of this danger and recommend extreme caution in their use. In spite of this, many fires have occurred as a result of the use of Lithium Polymer batteries resulting in loss of models, automobiles, and other property. Homes and garages and workshops have also burned. A lithium battery fire is very hot (several thousand degrees) and is an excellent initiator for ancillary (resulting) fires. Fire occurs due to contact between Lithium and oxygen in the air. It does not need any other source of ignition, or fuel to start, and burns almost explosively. These batteries must be used in a manner that precludes ancillary fire. The following is recommended:
These batteries CANNOT be handled and charged casually such as has been the practice for years with other types of batteries. The consequence of this practice can be very serious resulting in major property damage and/or personal harm.