Charge your Batteries Safely - Don't get Complacent

Do not get complacent when charging batteries. With the hundreds of cycles I have put through lipos, they do seem safe and harmless. But today, I had my first catastrophic failure with a 3s lipo that vented.

Remember:
Always charge at a safe charge rate (1C is best)
Do not charge on top of a combustible surface (wood table, like I did, is bad)
If you have a fireplace, charge inside of it! It is meant to contain fire and fumes
If you don’t have a fireplace, charge outside. Even better option than fireplace
At least get a lipo safe bag - this saved my house from burning down
Do not leave charging batteries unattended - I made a quick run to the store and put my girlfriend/dogs in a dangerous situation

The brand of the battery does not matter. All brands have failures. Be vigilant. I thank my lucky stars as I know it could have been much worse (not sure why thumbs are stretched, but clicking shows normal pic)

These happen very rarely, but the consequences can be tragic. STAY VIGILANT!

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Thanks for the prudent reminder. Glad you’re safe!

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WTF.
Glad dogs and house are in good condition.

Yesterday I charged one of my Whoop batteries (HV 205mah) with my isdt608. Accidentally I selected 2s charge without balancing. Fortunately I had a look at the charger while charging and it showed 4.6V. Unplugged it as fast as possible. Don’t wanna know what would have been happened if I went out for some shopping.
Ok this was user error par excellence but it reminded me of the danger we are all dealing with every day.
Your story exemplifies this even more.

Be aware lipo batteries are dangerous.

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@pilsnerpopper: Glad everybody is safe and damage was limited!! Is that second picture of the burned LiPo bag with the LiPo melted inside? What kind of charging setup were you using? Any specific lessons or improvements?

Love the animated GIF of @Benedikt with he 1S gumstick LiPo discharging in his hands. I wonder what happened with that one?

This is an important reminder and reality check. I store and transport my larger LiPos in fire-retardant glass fiber bags or in an ammo can. And my chargers are always on a large aluminum serving tray. However, I don’t use a LiPo bag during charging. And I don’t usually keep the small 1S packs in a fire-retardant bag, except for when I’m taking them on a plane. So there’s room for improvement in my practices.

I really should move my charging station to the garage, which is built to resist fire as required by code. However, I would have to clean the garage. Argh! So many excuses! :scream:

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It sure is. The fiberglass didn’t fail, but the rubber/plastic liner of the bag completely melted. The battery must have leaked electrolyte as I handled it earlier and my hands started to burn. The whole second floor still smells of burning.

Just wanted to use this post as a PSA so that those that had battery storage/charging safety improvement on the to-do list, get it done!

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Wow, this terrifies me. I just got over my “fear” of batteries, now I’m regressing, probably not a bad thing tho… I do not charge my batteries in s lipo bag (yet) or store them in ammo containers (yet) but doing these things may be worth the investment, family and belongings are worth much more than my quadcopters… I do always make sure to monitor my batteries while charging, checking them to feel if they are getting warm and whatnot…

So glad you and the family are okay… I’m sure this is the type of thing we all truly fear from our hobby, so sorry it happened to you.

Stay strong tho, and keep charging in those lipo safe charging bags, im going to call my local hobby shop 2moro to see if I can get some , and to my local hardware store to maybe grab some ammo boxes

Edit: is your profile picture a dog eating a snowflake? Every time I see it it makes me laugh. Lol

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Charging batteries is kind of like guns. Don’t ever point a gun at something you aren’t willing to shoot. Don’t ever charge a battery somewhere you can’t have it explode.

This is just as likely as occurring with your phone or laptop. Be smart and fly another day.

Been there and done that @pilsnerpopper, learned the hard way years ago…I am glad you didn’t suffer any serious damage to your home and family mate.

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This just moved all the way up my priorities list to “just bought” glad your all safe.

HOBBYTIGER Fire Resistant Bag LiPo Battery Safe Charging Storage Sack Fireproof Explosionproof Guard (New Ver.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M030181/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vBXAybG6WRYKW

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I bought the same exact one :smiley:
These are not reusable hahahah

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Punctured a 400mah outside once to see what happens. Wow a lot of smoke. 2 (phone and oven) timers are used while batteries charge since cheapy Hubsan chargers are used. My room mate thinks I am crazy for being “over-vigilant” but now she should see a few vids, images of what these can do. I remember on RCG a member there lost all of their life hobby RCs and also house from one small battery catching fire. Oh, charging batteries on a ceramic plate will help too and of course make sure no flammable/ accelerant materials close just in case.

Wow, these story set some perspective… Great advice on the ceramic plate… i heard placing a ceramic flower pot over the battery while charging helps to lock in some of the powerful flames if a fire happens to occur… and placing a bag of sand on top of the flower pot is even better, theoretically the sandbag should melt and the sand should pour into the flower pot to extinguish the battery due to lack of oxygen if all goes as planned!

I’m definitely grabbing some ammo boxes, and fireproof charging bags 2moro tho…

@pilsnerpopper: Interesting note that the fire-retardant bag had an inner liner that melted. I actually just bought one of these larger Hobby Tiger bags to try. So far I’ve only had the envelope style bags with velcro flaps. Of note, I picked up the “double layer” version, which has glass fiber weave both outside and inside the bag. Given your melting experience, having fiberglass on the inside as well is definitely worth a few extra bucks.

@Kamsleo69: Consider the “double layer” version of this bag, as noted above. The “new version” as well as the cheaper original version both appear to have a plastic liner, which melted during the accident above.

The bag I linked in the original post is the bag that I had. The inside of the bag looks like raw glass, the outside looks like duct tape. It was the duct tape layer that turned to liquid and caused the mess and charring. I am guessing it does serve a purpose as the damage to the top of the wooden night stand was minimal. I guessing it serves to close the holes in the porous glass fibers.

Either way, so happy I had one. I did end up getting the double layer one, one day shipping. Hopefully I will never find out how it compares to my original one.

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I use a clay cooking pot used for making stew and place the batteries that I’m parallel charging in it.

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Glad this ended OK! Thanks for the heads up. I think we all know the danger of lipo’s, but after a long time without trouble you do tend to get less careful. Time to take another look at my charging setup. Even though I charge my batteries in a tiny locker, and store them in lipo bags, I’m not sure what I would do if shit would actually hit the fan. I also have some batteries laying around on my desk sometimes.

I know that clip from Benedikt, was watching the livestream when that happened. Really scary. Have been scared to handle the batteries for a week after I watched that.

Now I’m hungry…hot nabe here I come!

Glad you’re safe and the damage was minimal @pilsnerpopper, looks like I should up my game as well. At least I’m storing the little buggers in a fire retardant bag now…scary!

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Part one of my charging station reinvestment.

I also bought a fairly large fire extinguisher, JIC.

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This thread was definitely not to scare anybody; compared to many other hobbies, this one is quite safe. Really glad to see everyone improving their charging set-ups.

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The fire extinguisher might not help much to extinguish a burning lipo. Don’t try water.

Additionally, these little lipo bags are maybe more like placebo (okay - obviously - better than nothing). A youtube search for “lipo bag” surely yields some interesting videos. Ammo box should be “pretty okay” under certain circumstances for smaller lipos.
I found this video rather educational, seems “Ammo box with the lid closed and rubber seal removed” is the best option (yes the video shows fires caused “bigger” lipos, but that’s no excuse - a fire is a fire and ammo boxes are really really cheap. If it works with the big boys - it will be fine for smaller lipos too):

If you are really paranoid about your lipos there are things like this (basic idea: lipo burns, melts stuff, sand drops on burning stuff):

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