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Why are Lithium Batteries So Dangerous?

Kent Faith - Sunday, January 20, 2013

Think about the last time you were on an airplane… think about how many people sitting next to you were working on a laptop. How many were using their cell phone in airplane mode? Perhaps they were reading a book on their Kindle or their Nook? All of these devices are powered by lithium batteries: a battery that has run away with popularity due to it’s long life and rechargable nature. But just like everything else there has to be a downside. These batteries can cause great risk if overheated or overcharged.

Fire and explosion are serious threats when lithium batteries overheat; the batteries can spontaneously ignite if they are damaged or overheated. Batteries can also be combustible when stored at temperatures too low or too high for any period of time. There are many variables that can bring about risk in these batteries. Such incidences have been recorded to have led to multiple airplane-related combustions during the past three years. A solution must be made–and with the growth of technological devices that use lithium batteries it’s going to have to come in the form of extinguishing the fires that these batteries can cause.