Screen shot from Utkiken Rescue´s YouTube video
19 Dec 2023

Explosions due to lithium ion batteries - insights for firefighters


This video analyses several incidents where explosions from lithium ion batteries have occured. It also features a section about what makes lithium-ion batteries produce the flammable gases and how these situations can affect buildings.

The video is provided made by PerOla Malmqvist, battery expert, fire protection engineer and former battalion chief from Sweden.  It also features some thoughts about firefighting operations and ways of thinking that can help out by using knowledge firefighters already have. 


Watch the video on the UtkikenRescue YoutuBe channel


"The key is to think about lithium ion batteries as containers with flammable gas. The major differences are that the flammable gas from the lithium ion battery is visible (which is a good thing) and that the battery also has a built in ignition source (which is a bad thing). And for all "battery-haters" out there, we have had fossil fuels for more than 120 years and most of the knowledge I present here comes from the work with making them safe... 

...During that period, we have had so many explosions and fires to learn from, and we still experience them. We have carbon monoxide poisoning from gas heaters and stoves, we have explosions in buildings from carbon gases as well, even though we have had so many years to learn. Batteries are just another energy source which come with with its own risks - and many of them are similar to those of fossil fuels." 


Useful links: 

 https://rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/neus... Links to information about the explosion in a building in Germany: https://www.vogelsberger-zeitung.de/2... https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/10/3... Link to the analysis video of the exploding jeep:   Image removed. • Electric Car Explosions Worldwide   A good article about quantification of gases during thermal runaway: https://incompliancemag.com/article/e... The report about explosion pressure from battery vent gases. It also contains a lot more interesting knowledge: https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/15... And as I said in the video, if you have good routines or knowledge that could be useful, please email at po@utkiken.net. If you got annoyed by some Swedish texts in the presentation, incorrect and bad English, or some hesitations during me talking. That is by design. I just make the video good enough, to save time. The facts are correct as far as I know, but the video production and my English language are on a basic level. Thanks for watching the video! / PerOla