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Old May 18, 2006, 05:26 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
United States, NJ, Trenton
Joined Jan 2004
9,129 Posts
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Fire, Fire, Fire!

Just had what could have been a catastrophic house fire. I was charging a lipo pack in the basement on my workbench (first mistake) while making dinner (second mistake) for the kids. Flames were 2-3 feet high when the smoke detectors went off. I knew immediately what it was. Got wife and kids out of the house and ran back down with the fire extinguisher. It didn't work (mistake #3). I smothered the flames with a heavy cotton towel and carried the smoldering mess outside. I live on a lake so the towel was immediately soaked in the water and so ended the fire.

I'm going to have nightmares about this forever. Could have been a disaster.

What do I know? Never charge in the house. Never leave unattended. Have a fire extinguisher at the ready. What didn't I do? All of those things for I had become complacent.

Don't be stupid like me. Follow the rules.

Mike
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Old May 18, 2006, 05:30 PM
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fly4fun's Avatar
Gilbert AZ
Joined Jun 2001
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So what was the cause????
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Old May 18, 2006, 05:33 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
United States, NJ, Trenton
Joined Jan 2004
9,129 Posts
I'm not sure if it was the lipos or the charger. I use the Worley charger, don't know the model off the top of my head. I was charging my favorite MaxAmps 2250 2s pack. I had the charger set to 2 cells and 1800mah which is the max charge rate.

What really scares me is the "what if". My work area is typically a mess with foam and plans and balsa all around. I actually neatened up a bit yesterday. I could have burned the whole house down.

Mike
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Old May 18, 2006, 05:50 PM
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Never heard of worley. For 2250 packs check apogee and they have these chargers made for small packs under 4S and 3000~ mah.
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Old May 18, 2006, 06:01 PM
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United States, AZ, Chino Valley
Joined Feb 2005
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You Were Lucky

Find yourself a wall brick (one with holes that don't go all the way through) and fill a ziplock baggy with sand. Charge your batteries in the brick with the sand bag on top. If a fire starts the plastic burns and the sand smothers the battery. But NEVER leave a Lipo battery unattended!!! Just one of lifes lessons that turned out well. Good luck

Randy
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Old May 18, 2006, 06:02 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
United States, NJ, Trenton
Joined Jan 2004
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I'll look it up later. I have to take the kids to a book fair at school. I may be off of lipo for a bit. I think that I'll wait for the Li Mn technology to get cheaper and more available. For now I'm back to my nimh's.
Mike
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Old May 18, 2006, 06:07 PM
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United States, AZ, Chino Valley
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Video of charging bunker used for tests

http://www.utahflyers.org/movies/lipo3.wmv
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Old May 18, 2006, 06:23 PM
The Hun in the Sun
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Canada, BC, Comox
Joined Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatball
Find yourself a wall brick (one with holes that don't go all the way through) and fill a ziplock baggy with sand. Charge your batteries in the brick with the sand bag on top. If a fire starts the plastic burns and the sand smothers the battery.
Randy
Great idea Randy, thanks!
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Old May 18, 2006, 08:37 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
CarreraGTSCS's Avatar
United States, NJ, Trenton
Joined Jan 2004
9,129 Posts
Here's a stock photo of the charger. This is the latest model. My max charge rate was 1800 mah.

I like the sand idea. If I go back to lipo's all of my charging will be outside where I usually do it. Have to get an ammo box for battery storage. I'm also taking all of my spare building supplies out of the basement and into the garage away from my building area which is right next to the furnace. I've become careless, I realize that now. Got lucky this time. My six year old is clearly disturbed by this. I'll have to see how she is over the next few days. Damn stupid of me.
Mike
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Old May 18, 2006, 08:48 PM
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Ijamsville, MD, U.S.A.
Joined Mar 2001
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Safe charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarreraGTSCS
Here's a stock photo of the charger. This is the latest model. My max charge rate was 1800 mah.

I like the sand idea. If I go back to lipo's all of my charging will be outside where I usually do it. Have to get an ammo box for battery storage. I'm also taking all of my spare building supplies out of the basement and into the garage away from my building area which is right next to the furnace. I've become careless, I realize that now. Got lucky this time. My six year old is clearly disturbed by this. I'll have to see how she is over the next few days. Damn stupid of me.
Mike

Mike,

There is a system solution that will take away just about every worry re Li Pos.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...88&postcount=4
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Old May 18, 2006, 08:55 PM
Registered User
Walled Lake, MI, USA
Joined Feb 2000
11,182 Posts
Mike, thank you so much for sharing this experience. I really feel your emotions about inadvertently endangering your family. It reminds us all that complacency is still a growing contributor to unattended LiPo fires. The LiPo fire trend has been toward a higher percentage of reports from people who had previously followed safe LiPo practices relaxing their guards after extensive LiPo use with no problems.
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Old May 18, 2006, 09:17 PM
P-61 WWII Night Fighter
Solcat's Avatar
Sylmar, CA
Joined Jan 2004
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Charge them in your bbq.
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Old May 18, 2006, 09:20 PM
phillyphly
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United States, PA, Philadelphia
Joined Sep 2005
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Fred, how many new people do you think you reach everytime you post in one of these threads. Contrast that with how many people that get fed up with you shilling for your FMA batts, charger etc.

Hey, I'm not saying you can't post, I don't care. I just question your calculus.
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Old May 18, 2006, 09:32 PM
Registered User
Walled Lake, MI, USA
Joined Feb 2000
11,182 Posts
It's fair to argue that a vendor suggesting a safety device to someone who has just suffered an accident that could have been prevented by use of this safety device is performing a helpful service.

The problem, of course, is that if every vendor of every safety device posted a commercial message in every thread where someone reported an accident, the forums would be unreadable.

The balance of forum member messages vs. vendor messages on any forum is always up for debate. Almost every forum member has derived some benefit from some vendor's messages, and almost every forum member has been annoyed at some time by an overabundance of vendor messages.

For anyone who has strong feelings that vendors should not be allowed to post commercial responses to threads discussing forum member problems, the best course of action would be to go to Site Suggestions / Complaints and suggest that RCGroups consider just such a policy.
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Old May 18, 2006, 11:36 PM
Registered User
Gig Harbor, WA
Joined Mar 2004
60 Posts
Mike

Have you checked out the LipoSack yet? I saw them during initial testing. They are quite impressive.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=513714

Tim
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