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Euralarm issues guidance on integrated fire protection for Lithium-ion batteries

09 March 2022

THE EXTINGUISHING Section of Euralarm has published a guidance document on integrated fire protection solutions for Lithium-ion batteries. The guidelines provide information on the issues related to the use of Lithium-ion batteries, detail about how fires start in such batteries and also how these fires may be detected, controlled, suppressed and extinguished.

Further, there’s also guidance on post-fire management, but excluded from the scope of the document are explosion and ventilation issues.

Lithium-ion batteries have become the battery technology of choice in a variety of areas, including (among others) power generation, communications, the industrial sector and for the automotive sector.

Active control of the energy being stored by – and extracted from – Lithium-ion batteries has been the foundation of their increasing popularity. Indeed, the relatively low frequency of major incidents is testament to the effort and successful design applied to the critical aspect of using such high-density energy products.

However, active control of the battery energy is not sufficient to prevent safety-critical situations and multiple levels of defence are needed to minimise the serious consequences of a failure in a Lithium-ion battery.

New fire hazard

The increasing number of Lithium-ion batteries and an increasing amount of stored energy in different applications presents a new type of fire hazard where fire protection is challenging. Key issues in any fire protection system are the selection of the most appropriate agent for the specific hazard, system layout and the correct discharge of the extinguishing agent, as well as correct installation, the use of approved systems and constant maintenance by appropriately trained staff.

The Euralarm guidance document is intended for all professionals dealing with fire safety, fire protection, extinguishing and fire suppression in connection with the use, storage or transport of Lithium-ion batteries and the fire risks they can pose. Aspects of consumers products are not covered in this guidance.

The document is intended as general guidance and is not a substitute for detailed advice in specific circumstances. It represents the current understanding of the industry and will be updated as more information becomes available.

*The guidance document on integrated fire protection solutions for Lithium-ion batteries can be downloaded online here

**Euralarm represents the electronic fire and security industry, providing leadership and expertise for policy-makers and standards bodies. The Trade Association’s members make society safer and more secure through the delivery of systems and services for fire detection and extinguishing, alarm transmission and alarm monitoring. Founded in 1970, Euralarm now represents upwards of 5,000 companies valued at 67 billion Euros. Members are, in the main, national associations and individual companies from across Europe