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The Fire Protection Research Foundation has released a report on a study of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The Foundation and its affiliated Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG) requested a study of the flammability of Li-ion batteries in bulk storage to inform the development of sprinkler protection criteria.


Video: Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation provides an overview of the project.

The study was conducted in collaboration with commercial and industrial insurer FM Global and contained two test series conducted at their research facility. The first evaluated the free burn fire growth patterns of three types of common Li-ion batteries stored in cardboard cartons with an external ignition scenario. The second evaluated the performance of sprinklers in protecting analogous commodities. Videos from three fire tests, which were part of the research, can be viewed on YouTube.

It was learned through this project that cartoned Li-ion batteries burn similarly when compared to other cartoned commodities in the early stages of fire growth. This is valuable information in understanding how to protect this commodity in storage facilities. Precluding battery involvement in the fire prior to sprinkler actuation makes us optimistic that water-based suppression systems, similar to those that are typically recommended for a variety of storage scenarios, is a viable option for Li-ion battery storage.

The Foundation’s report, “Li-ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment Phase IIB: Flammability Characterization of Li-ion Batteries for Storage Protection” is a summary of the companion detailed testing report by FM Global.


!|src=|alt=West Texas explosion|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=West Texas explosion|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eeb04fe5f970d!The Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the federal agency charged with investigating industrial accidents, recently released a video underscoring the damage from the ammonium nitrate fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, that killed 14 people and injured about 200 others. Narrated by a CSB investigator, the video illustrates the destruction of schools, residences, a nursing home, playgrounds, and other locations.

"The community damage we saw in West was the worst of any chemical accident in the CSB's history," says CSB Managing Director Daniel Horowitz in the video.


Watch the chilling video on CSB's Facebook page, and review NFPA's relevant resources:

NFPA 400,+ Hazardous Material Code<br />+This document applies to the storage, use, and handling of hazardous materials in all occupancies and facilities, including ammonium nitrate solids and liquids. Access this document online for free .

NFPA 472,&#0160;Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents<br />This document&#0160;identifies the minimum levels of competence required by responders to emergencies involving hazardous materials/weapons of mass destruction. Access this document online for free .

NFPA 1620,&#0160;Pre-Incident Planning<br />This document provides criteria for evaluating the protection, construction, and operational features of specific occupancies to develop a pre-incident plan that should be used by responding personnel to manage fires and other emergencies in such occupancies using the available resources. Access this document online for free .</li> </ul> </span>

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