LiPo disaster

Since everybody seems to be sharing LiPo stories. I have one from March 17th when a 2200 Mah 3s burned my entire garage. Check this out!3689543415?profile=original

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  • Moderator

    Pete,  that is a great question. I know when I charge mine that I am not more that 3m away and have a fire extinguisher within 2m. I am usually moderating here or working so it doesn't matter how long it takes. I do also tell my girlfriend who knows how to handle fires too so if I'm away from my desk for 2mins should still be safe.

  • I often wonder what "Don't leave a LiPo charging unattended" means. Do people actually sit in front of the battery for the whole duration of charge?

    When I charge, I use a LiPo bag with a 0.5m clearance around it and ensure that everyone in the house is aware that I am charging batteries. And I make sure that I (or someone who can operate a fire-extinguisher) is awake and never more than a room away. But does anyone actually sit there babysitting them while on charge?

    As for discharging, I have found that shorting across a length of nichrome (used for hot wire cutting) can discharge fully in a very short time, makes for a great heater and should be kept a very close eye on!

  • You can easily discharge your bad lipos by taking an old brushed RC motor and connecting it to your battery on a flameproof test bench (i do it on my BBQ) 

    After your lipos are fully discharged drop them in a bucket of salt water....  its safe as a brick after that.... 

    we also have just taken them out to the desert and shorted them out or threw them in the fire pit, that works also.. haha! 

  • MR60

    Sorry for your garage.

    For info, Lipo take fire when the lithium used as one of the main chemicals in your lipo battery gets in contact with oxygen-> this triggers an exothermic reaction that indirectly will cause fire.

    The only way for a lipo to get in contact with oxygen (in the ambient air) is when the protective lining got damaged or lost for some reasons its impermeability (after a shock for example).

    On of the lipo dnager warning signs (but it is not the only one) is when your lipo gets puffy ->stop using it and dispose it in a specialized dump/recycle service (not in your regular home garbage).

  • Definitely need more info on how it happened.

  • You have my sympathizes Robert. My guess is there is a LOT more of these stories out there but we are too ashamed to admit to them. Lipo safety should and now IS at the top of my list. I now do ALL my charging outside in an old BBQ grill. I have learned my lesson.

    I think this may be anthologies to motorcycle riders. There is the ones that have fallen, and the ones who will fall. Lets keep lipo charging safety at the forefront as well as prop safety.


  • Nice to have zero details, but a few things can nevertheless be said: No Lipo "caused" this fire. Rather, something caused a Lipo which had been placed in too-close proximity to combustibles to become unstable while it was unattended. Could have been while charging, or it could have been damaged at the field and brought home, among other possibilities. In any event there is only one cause here, and it's two-legged. Sorry to sound harsh but it is important to the hobby that people realize that the dangers almost all lie with the users. We don't post unexplained pictures of wrecked cars to show how dangerous cars are when everyone knows it's the drivers 99.99% of the time. Same thing here. When Lipos were new on the market ignorance and mistakes were forgivable. Now they are not. If you have a Lipo fire like this you're going to be asked WTF you were thinking and get little sympathy. So if you're new to Lipos don't be at all afraid, but do educate yourself and then follow the well-defined safety rules. Then you will not burn your house down.  

  • Clearly the answer here is to charge your lipos in a blue cooler. 

  • Lots of questions...was it in a charging bag? Did the charger "over-boost" the lipo? Hopefully we'll hear more from Robert that will give us some insights. 

  • WOW! I bet your wife was pretty annoyed...makes me realize how slack I am with my lipos...

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