That old favorite, Lipo Fires


New member
Hi Al, I’m new to the forum, but not to RC. I tend to dip in, go crazy for a few months, then move on to other things for a while. Then re-discover RC and start again . So I’m always playing catch-up to some degree with the latest tech and information. Call it a minor mental problem.

I’ve bought some flight test foamies to put together, hot glue gun etc., but this question of llipos burning the house down has come back to haunt me again.
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there: some sites swear that class D fire extinguisher is the only one you should get, if you’re willing to pay $900 for it. Others say that it’s not a lithium metal battery so class B will be effective. Videos I’ve seen show that sand doesn’t seem to do much of anything if the fire really gets going.
Most of my batteries are 3S/2300 MAH. Are those considered small and therefore less dangerous?
I bought a bat-safe XL box and right now have all my new batteries which I have not charged yet locked in that. That’s 6 batteries, all together, for a total of 13,800 MAH total. The XL is rated to handle 20,000 MAH total, or four 5000 MAH batteries. Can I really have confidence that that’s an accurate threshold?

I don’t want to be wrong and burn my house down. Plus I live in a quadplex, so I’d take three other homes with me potentially. So yeah, it’s keeping me awake at night a little bit until I resolve these safety factors.

Other factors include the fact that I live in New England, so I can’t leave them outside to charge or store during winter, once I have charged. Too cold.
I do have ABC fire extinguishers in the basement. And the XL will stay locked with batteries in it all the time. Does that mean I’m safe? There’s a ton of toxic smoke that comes out those vents at the top when lipos catch fire inside. Maybe it’ll contain the fire but what if it ruins the house inside with toxic fumes? Not to mention our lungs.

There’s just not enough hard data out there.
I saw a video on YouTube, where a guy did all kinds of tests and the bat-safe was pretty much the only thing that contained the fire. Pouches? Ammo cans? Bags of sand? Nope. All failed his real-world tests. And the explosion of smoke! That would quickly flood a whole house, and I’m down in the basement half a flight of stairs below level. It would take me minimum 10 seconds to get a burning bat-safe out the door. I don’t know if that’s margin enough or not.

Once spring comes, it’ll be a different story. I’ll just put them out in the shed after charging. Shed stands alone 30 feet from the house, although there are pine trees all around.

I read a lot of stuff about how people put charging setups on concrete, or in porcelain or ceramic basins with sandbags nearby. But I’ve also read about a guy whose house was ruined, and totaled by the insurance co., after they went on vacation, from a slow burning smolder that ruined the entire everything in the house long before any fire started, and this after the batteries were discharged to storage mode! Turnigy batteries but still…

So yes, color me paranoid and in search of some good reliable information going forward.

And thanks very much.
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