LONDON, UK—Commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global has completed the first-ever large scale fire tests of lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries in warehouse storage and released a research technical report describing the associated fire hazards and protection recommendations for these increasingly popular rechargeable batteries.
The first-of-its-kind project was conducted in conjunction with the Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG) through the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Protection Research Foundation to better understand the fire hazards at the forefront of this prevalent technology.
The research was conducted at the FM Global Research Campus in West Glocester, R.I. USA, the world’s largest centre for property protection-related scientific research and testing.
Among the key findings of FM Global’s research:
- Li-ion batteries present several unique fire hazards when involved in a fire, due to an ignitable electrolyte liquid contained within such products.
- Densely packed li-ion cylindrical cells and polymer cells behave differently than li-ion power tool packs in such fires.
- When bulk stored in corrugated board cartons, early fire extinguishment and cooling of the li-ion batteries is imperative to properly protect a facility.
- Existing protection solutions used for other types of high hazard products and materials can be effective for protecting li-ion batteries stored in bulk arrangements.
The complete scientific research findings are available in a downloadable technical report “Flammability Characterization of Lithium-ion Batteries in Bulk Storage” at www.fmglobal.com/researchreports. Videos from three fire tests, which were part of the research, can be viewed on YouTube.
About FM Global
For nearly two centuries, many of the world's largest organisations have turned to FM Global (www.fmglobal.co.uk) to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. With clients in more than 130 countries, FM Global has been named "Best Property Insurer in the World" by Euromoney magazine, "Best Global Property Insurer" by Global Finance magazine and received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise. In the United Kingdom, FM Global is the communicative name for FM Insurance Company Limited, which celebrates its 50th anniversary of international operation in 2013.