The incredible flux of wireless technology and electrification we see today would not be possible without lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). LIBs are compact and light-weight, which has enabled the development of modern electronic vehicles among other things. Sadly, technological advances rarely come problem-free. We have already covered the sustainability issues related to LIBs in our previous blogs, but a more immediate problem linked to them are the fire hazards they pose.
In recent years there have been various news of LIBs suddenly combusting or even exploding. This worrying trend has already been picked up by insurance companies – and for a good reason. As the number of battery-based devices in each home increases, so does the risk of LIB fires.
Fortunately, preventing these fires can be easy.
Safety can come effortlessly
Many insurance companies are already providing their customers with instructions on how to prevent fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. These include such tips as avoiding charging near flammable objects (such as sofas or beds), removing the charger from the socket, and avoiding charging overnight. These indeed are great ways to mitigate disastrous fires. However, there is one problem: the risk of human error.
Regardless of the instructions, many people will still have their chargers plugged in around the clock just out of habit or forgetfulness. Many leave their phone to charge overnight out of convenience. However, phones left to charge on nightstands are the worst-case scenario in case of a battery fire: there will be very little time to react. Luckily, these dangers can be avoided with automation.
The BrightCharger innovation makes sure that the power is cut off once the battery is optimally charged. The device and its charger can be left plugged-in without fear of overheating, even overnight! The process is fully automated, taking the burden off the user’s shoulder and making charging effortless and, most importantly, safer.
Prevention is the key for saving lives
Although fires linked to faulty batteries or chargers are relatively rare, their number is likely to increase in the near future. This problem is highlighted especially when consumers buy widgets and chargers overseas, outside of the scope of national or EU-wide regulations. Faulty batteries and chargers are more likely to cause accidents.
The fire hazard posed by LIBs is quite notable. As lithium is highly reactable with oxygen, LIBs burn violently and are likely to cause nearby flammable objects to catch fire as well. To make things worse, the burning device releases gasses that are dangerous to breathe in. In addition, LIB fires are extremely difficult to put out by non-professionals, making prevention efforts even more crucial.
According to a study by the insurance company If, a foam extinguisher is required to put the flames out – and not all households own a foam extinguisher. A survey done by LähiTapiola shows that only a fourth of Finnish households have a foam extinguisher. Submerging the burning battery in water is also suggested as a method of extinguishing, but this can be dangerous without proper safety equipment.
Proven technology for preventing risks caused by overcharging
The BrightCharger innovation has manifested itself in various applications, for example in the form of Bright Grid Adapter that makes safe and sustainable charging possible in a carefree way in every home and office. The adapter contains the patented BrightCharger algorithm, which cuts the power once your device battery is optimally charged to 90-100%. It provides an easy and user-friendly way to maximize safety and sustainability.
So, insurer: Instead of giving out instructions that are often too easy to ignore, why not provide your customers with brighter solutions? Contact us to hear more of possible solutions.