Lith-Ex fire extinguishers are a new kind of fire extinguisher designed to tackle and prevent the combustion of Lithium-ion batteries, something which we’re relying on more and more in our day-to-day lives.
These batteries are used to power our devices, such as mobiles, tablets and laptops, as well as our toys, power tools, mobility scooters, drones, and electric vehicles. They are even used in the aviation industry and for the storage of solar power. Their use is only going to increase over the next few years.
Although generally safe, they do present a difficult challenge when they catch fire, and explode when damaged, overcharged or exposed to extreme heats. Unfortunately, our traditional fire extinguisher classes are not capable of tackling them.
As well as being safe to use on fires involving Lithium-ion batteries, the AVD Lith-Ex fire extinguishers are also suitable for use on Class A and electrical fires.
There are numerous sizes now available. The 400ml and 1 litre versions should contain enough to take a small fire involving a smaller battery, the 2 litre ideal for vehicles, and the 6 and 9 litre versions for more industrial purposes.
Before you use a Lith-Ex fire extinguisher, first check that the extinguisher is safe to use. You can do this by making a quick assessment of the situation by ensuring there are no other fuel sources (such as flammable liquids or gases).
Additionally, check it is fully charged by looking at the gauge, and ensure the safety pin is not damaged. Most importantly, make sure you can still safely exit if your attempts to put out a fire are unsuccessful.
How To Use A Lith-Ex Fire Extinguisher
- With the extinguisher a safe distance from the fire and on a stable surface, remove the pin and break the tamper seal.
- Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the flames (the battery or device itself).
- Holding the lever in your other hand, slowly squeeze to begin discharging the contents, moving around to ensure the device is completely covered. As the fire starts to die down, you can then start to move closer.
- Use the entire contents of the Lith-Ex fire extinguisher; this will create a film over the surface which instantly dries to create an oxygen barrier. This means the fire begins to burn itself out, cooling down and preventing re-ignition.