Fireproof battery storage box?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
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Cugel
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Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Cugel »

An article in the current CUK magazine caught my eye - an unlucky fellow with a burnt out car courtesy of an e-bike battery catching fire when left on the floor of the car. He reckoned salt spray from a sea crossing may have shorted the thing.

Well, there are three Fazua motor/battery modules kept in out house. What if one of them decided to misbehave? They're resilient and well-made items .... nevertheless, why take the risk of burning down the house?

So, does anyone have any recommendations for a fireproof container large enough hold either one or all three of the Fazua battery/motor modules? I don't really want to take the batteries out of the modules every time they're put out of the bikes and into the house (to keep them warm enough) so longer fireproof containers would be needed - 50cm long. Most fireproof containers for batteries on Amazon and elsewhere seem to be too short.

Any recommendations you have will be gratefully received and examined closely.

Cugel
“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking."
John Maynard Keynes
Nearholmer
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Nearholmer »

Have you had a look at Clarke tools catalogue? They supply quite a few different metal storage boxes for power tools etc.
Nearholmer
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Nearholmer »

This isn’t a Clarke one, but is pretty big and strong-looking.

https://www.toolden.co.uk/test/faithful ... gLELfD_BwE
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Tigerbiten »

The trouble is a fireproof box is designed to keep heat out, so they they tend to be air tight.
Now put a battery fire inside one and bad things will happen.
The battery fire generates gas and heats the air up in the box and the internal pressure will rise.
If you vent it, you have made a flame thrower.
If you don't vent it and it gets to high, you have just made a bomb.
So you won't burn the house down, you'll blow it up ...... :shock:

There are plenty of vids on u-tube of battery "fire bags" and how they don't work.

Luck ........... :D
Nearholmer
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Nearholmer »

A tool box won’t be air-tight, and if you don’t lock it won’t be pressure sealed, but it will prevent, or at least vastly reduce the risk of spread of fire, while allowing your house to fill slowly with acrid fumes.
Bsteel
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Bsteel »

I've used ammunition boxes for similar projects in the past, they tend to be cheaper than toolboxes and made of thicker material. Amazon sell a few but I'm sure they're widely available new and used. Maybe add a smoke and heat detector locally to the storage ?
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Cugel
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by Cugel »

Thanks all for the replies.

A metal toolbox may be the answer - something substantial that's also kept in a location where it won't transfer any fire-heat to something adjacent that might then also catch fire.

I take the point about the noxious fumes. We do have several smoke, heat and CO alarms around the house, all interconnected so they all go off when one detects summik. But another heat detector actually on the metal toolbox might be a good idea.

There may be a spot in the garage/workshop built into the side of the house that will suit. It stays warmish in there, so the battery won't get too cold; and there's a clear area on the concrete floor that's away from the wooden stuff. The ceiling too is concrete ...............

The risk of a good quality battery catching fire seems small, especially if it's well looked after (not dropped, made wet, etc.). Still, the things do contain an awful lot of energy, even when left only part-charged after a ride, as I tend to do.

Cugel
“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking."
John Maynard Keynes
ChrisF
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by ChrisF »

Cugel wrote: 3 Aug 2022, 8:53am A metal toolbox may be the answer - something substantial that's also kept in a location where it won't transfer any fire-heat to something adjacent that might then also catch fire.
but putting two or three batteries in the same box is doing just that: if one battery goes 'wrong' then they will all suffer, making 3 times the danger / heat / smoke / fumes
I take the point about the noxious fumes. We do have several smoke, heat and CO alarms around the house, all interconnected so they all go off when one detects summik. But another heat detector actually on the metal toolbox might be a good idea.
I suspect that by the time a heat detector on the box gives an alarm, it'll be too late and too dangerous to get anywhere near it.
The risk of a good quality battery catching fire seems small, especially if it's well looked after (not dropped, made wet, etc.). Still, the things do contain an awful lot of energy, even when left only part-charged after a ride, as I tend to do.
Cugel
Yes, if they are looked after correctly there should not be a problem. Sure, there have been cases of bike batteries causing fires, but these are probably caused by over-charging and/or poor quality battery packs. Also, don't forget that many other domestic appliances are known to cause fires; reports of e-bike batteries causing them may be over-hyped.

I have a feeling that your batteries are best kept where they are designed to be, i.e. in the bikes. Constantly removing them and fitting them into a metal box (and back again) is more likely to cause some damage which could even make the fire risk greater.
Chris F, Cornwall
a.twiddler
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by a.twiddler »

Sounds like they should be kept in a concrete bunker at the end of the garden. Why stop there? Who charges their phone overmight? All those laptop batteries waiting to catch us out ? Modern life is full of hidden hazards. A battery fire might be a rare event, but when it happens it can be devastating.
bohrsatom
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Re: Fireproof battery storage box?

Post by bohrsatom »

It’s easy to overstate the risk of this happening. It seems that most (all?) of the batteries that catch fire are from what you might call Franken-e-bikes with low quality electronics. I’m yet to hear about batteries from well know manufacturers (Bosch etc) suffering the same fate, although I concede it is possible.

I do still take some precautions with my Bosch battery - I charge it flat on a solid floor, I don’t leave the battery charging overnight, and charge it by the back door so it doesn’t block the main exit route should a fire break out

As a previous commenter said, pretty much every device contains a lithium battery nowadays so our houses are packed full of them
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