Can you use water to put out lithium battery fire

June 13, 2022

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Can lithium batteries cause fire

No. Lithium ion batteries do not explode and catch fire, if its quality is good and it is used correctly. Instead, defective and damaged lithium battery fire. Lithium batteries are regarded as energy efficient, zero maintenance cost and eco-friendly. Unless a lithium battery is exposed to direct heat as high as 130 °F, exposed to direct heating sources like the stove etc., physically damaged, broken or pressed heavily, the chances of getting fire are small.


Cause of lithium battery fire

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission 2018 reported around 400 lithium ion battery explosion incidents. Safety standards of both rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium batteries are measured based on the UL 1642 and UL 2054 safety standards in USA.

While compliance with IEC 62133 safety standards are used for measuring safety globally. This is why, lithium batteries are being extensively used in a wide range of physical conditions in household and industrial equipments. Lithium battery fire due to one or combination of following reasons.

Built-in defect

A lithium-ion battery with a major built-in fault may catch fire during charging or discharging. This happens due to impurities that pile up in lithium ion cells. Lithium ion battery manufacturers usually pack lithium batteries in dedicated control and sophisticated clean environment to prevent this issue.

Improper packaging

In order to manufacture physically smart devices, some unprofessional manufacturers try to pack high capacity of lithium cells into a narrow space of battery. Sometimes, it may cause damage to electrodes, separator or any other part of the li-ion battery that eventually results into short circuit and lithium battery fire. Therefore, we should choose lithium-ion battery manufacturers from experienced battery products.


Consistent exposure to external heat up to 130 °F may cause fire in a lithium ion battery. This is the most common cause of lithium battery fire in the world.

How common is lithium battery fire

Chances of lithium battery fire are as low as 1 in 10 millions. Let’s understand it in another interesting way. If every Norwegian is using a lithium powered device, on average only five devices will cause fire or damage in whole Norway in a year.

Can you use water to put out a lithium battery fire

Even if you are that unlucky guy from 10 million whose lithium battery fire, As long as the timely detection and take lithium battery fire fighting action, it will not cause too much harm to themselves. The lithium battery fire can be extinguished with water as long as the lithium quantity in a battery is not so high. Normally, lithium batteries of household and handheld items are safe and can be managed with water if they caught fire.

How do you stop a lithium battery fire

Small lithium battery fire of handheld devices can easily be extinguished with water while industrial and heavy lithium batteries require Class D fire extinguisher, ABC dry chemical or sodium carbonate to put out fire. CO2 and powered graphite are also found very effective to douse fire in big lithium batteries. Even if you have nothing to douse the fire, simply let the battery burn itself in a controlled and safe way without any further damage. It will self destroy itself without causing any further harm to anything around.

Are lithium ion batteries safe for home use

Yes, lithium ion batteries are considered the safe alternative energy source both for home and industrial use. From cell phone to space crafts, lithium batteries are being used extensively with full confidence of safety, energy efficiency and low cost per cycle. The real problems arise due to unsafe usage, not adhering to instructions, unauthorized disassembly and opening and repairing without technical expertise and equipments. So, lithium-ion batteries are fully safe to use in home, office and industries.

Is it normal for a battery to get hot when charging

All batteries heat up to a certain extent during charging, lithium battery fire does not occur under normal condition. However, lithium ion batteries are way much better than lead acid batteries in this regard. However, one should not ignore the abnormal heat during charging or discharging. Excessive heat might be the results of direct exposure to a source of heat, physical damage, pressing or puncturing of lithium ion battery and breakage. One should also keep in mind the initial and remaining capacity of a lithium battery.

What happens when lithium ion batteries overheat

The safe temperature limits of charging and discharging of a lithium-ion battery are 45°C and 60 °C respectively. Using it in a little higher temperature will not causes instant lithium battery fire, but it will negatively affect cycle life of li-ion battery. Electrolytes, a major component of lithium batteries pose a fire hazard upon over heating as it is flammable. In the extreme cases of overheat, a li-ion battery will be damaged or catch fire due to venting if cells temperature went too high.

Can you leave a lithium battery in a hot car

Lithium batteries can be damaged, broken, ruptured or malfunction due to direct, excessive and consistent heat exposure. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to use all types of lithium-ion batteries within normal conditions to avoid any untoward incident. It is totally safe to install and use a lithium ion battery based equipment in car as far as temperatures is normal. However, in area with extremely hot temperature, one must consult a technical expert before doing so.


Lithium ion batteries are safe, reliable, durable and energy efficient as compared to any other form of energy storing devices. One should only consider the normal safety precautions. The chances of lithium battery fire hazard are small. If you want to know the information of lithium battery manufacturers, you can refer to Top 10 lithium ion battery manufacturers.