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Old Sep 19, 2014, 04:31 AM
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Any tips to prevent a fire?

I have become a bit paranoid of a lipo fires, which is a good thing I guess.

Here is my planned set up:
- Moving charging area out of house and into garage. Will be close to the washing machine, but its either that or the motorbike.
- The floor is tiled with concrete below and the wall is concrete.
- I have a cheap metal galvanised shelves like in picture.
- I will then be placing batteries and charger into a metal toolbox like in the picture below. Handle will be removed for easier access.
- Finally the batteries will sit in the Lipo Bags and Cases sold by Hobbyking. I realise these aren't the highest quality but I have so many, to original liposack would be too expensive.
- A couple of smoke alarms at strategic locations. Guessing photoelectric smoke alarms are the best.
- Finally a couple of rubber caps to go over the XT60 and balance ports.

Any tips, or other things I could consider? Might seem like overkill but after reading a number of posts and seeing photos/videos, I want to be super careful.
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Last edited by wat1717; Sep 19, 2014 at 05:36 AM.
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 09:59 AM
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United States, MN, Eden Prairie
Joined Oct 2008
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You titled this thread “Any tips to prevent a fire?”. That will be done by following safe charging habits not by building an elaborate charging station.

Just use a good charger and follow safe charging practices. Put everything on a nonflammable surface and don’t leave things unattended.
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wat1717 View Post
Any tips, or other things I could consider?
All good ideas that you have but none (except perhaps the caps) will specifically prevent a lipoly ignition. Most will contain the spread of fire and are all certainly helpful so here are my tips on prevention of lipoly ignition that you may consider:
  1. Always use a high quality balancing charger (FMA, iCharger, Hyperion, etc.) and always perform balance charges (or at least always charge with balance lead connected).
  2. Validate accuracy of charger with a good quality DMM to ensure that no cells are being inadvertently overcharged.
  3. Stick with good quality lipoly packs from reputable sources.
  4. Always inspect packs for damage prior to charging and never charge a pack that has been compromised.
  5. Check individual cell voltage of each pack prior to charging to verify pack health and that all cells are in the same voltage range.
Remember, almost all charge-related lipoly fires result from overcharging so your first line of defense in avoiding a potential fire is proper use of good quality charge equipment. Add this to your excellent ideas above and my experience is that you have a great chance of never experiencing a lipoly event.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 11:52 AM
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+1!
Pete
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 02:23 PM
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United States, WA, Woodinville
Joined May 2014
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A bucket of sand nearby is also not a bad idea. The other advice posted here goes a lon way toward preventing fires in the first place though, which is obviously preferable to containing a fire after it starts.

One downside of putting the charging in the garage is that it's probably easier to walk away an leave it unattended. I charge mine indoors so I can keep an eye on them without having to stand there staring at them. Watching batteries charge is about as exciting as watching paint dry.
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 03:01 PM
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+1 to all of the above.

One thing I would be concerned about though is the metal shelves and metal box -- both inviting contact with loose connectors, or with bare patches where the heatshrink has shrunk back a little from the metal contacts.

If you're in attendance, as you should be, during charging, LiPo sacks on a non-conductive surface would be my preferred setup, with sand, a fire blanket, or extinguisher close at hand. Shelf could be lined with plasterboard for instance.
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 07:08 PM
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Thanks all. Great tips.

I currently use a Turnigy Accul 6 Charger and I keep my charges to 1C. All of my batteries I buy from Hobbyking.

The garage is further away and I will monitor less but seeing some of the videos these things go up pretty quick. I would prefer them to go up in concrete garage rather them wooden house.

Will try and insulate metal areas a bit with fibreglass or plasterboard.
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Old Sep 19, 2014, 10:17 PM
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United States, CA, Rosemead
Joined Jan 2012
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i know nothing about them but from trawling through the threads i learned about LiFe batteries. supposed to be lower fire risk. abenn, mrforsyth, Rhea, etc. would know about it (or correct me).
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Old Sep 20, 2014, 07:50 AM
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Get a deep cycle Battery or generator and field charge only for the safest charging. Keep the batteries at storage charge in the garage. You can build a bunker of sorts really cheap, just need a cheap cinder block.
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Old Sep 20, 2014, 08:41 AM
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Australia, SA, Adelaide
Joined Feb 2014
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I've thought long and hard about this, and after seeing the aftermath of a couple of fires. I have decided to use 50mm ammo/incendiary boxes to charge the batteries in, thus:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...yL._SY300_.jpg

I'm going to use 25 pin D-connectors for the balance wires:

http://www.altex.com/Assets/ProductI...andard/25p.jpg

and panel mounted Anderson connectors:

http://andersonpower.com.au/images/ppak4bundle.JPG

for the high current to the outside and mount the FMA // MPA boards:

http://www.revolectrix.com/MPA_XH.htm

inside the incendiary boxes, with the lipos in with them and the lid shut whilst charging.

This whole setup will be kept away from the chargers by long cables

I do not care how hot they may get, but I want any possible fire, contained within the incendiary box.

Where I live, the 45C hot summers are dangerous for bushfires. The last thing I need is a set of charging lipos go up in flames.
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 09:53 PM
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Thanks. Sound like you are taking some good steps to be safe.

Short balance leads meaning the battery is close to the charger is also something I have been thinking of fixing.
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