Lithium Battery Fires Release Toxic Gas

September 08, 2023

​The issue of moving or storing lithium batteries has been highlighted by recent issues with ship fires, but according to a report in The Loadstar, the TT Club have highlighted that these battery fires also release a toxic ‘off-gas’.

The gases pose an explosive risk and also the threat of death if inhaled, as they release carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen chloride.

During lithium battery fires, first responders are at risk of breathing in these toxic chemicals, as the gases hug the ground and the traditional advice is to stay low to avoid inhalation of smoke.

Generally speaking, seafarers and professional firefighters will have access to breathing apparatus and PPE. However, in warehouses this is far less likely, and in some situations a first responder may initially attempt to fight the fire while just armed with a fire extinguisher.

Lithium battery fires continue to be the most talked about dangerous goods threat to the logistics industry. July’s fire on the ‘Fremantle Highway’ served as a reminder, when it claimed the life of one seafarer and injured many of the 24 crew members.

They have also been named as the cause or exacerbating factor in several other recent ship fires, including the ‘Felicity Ace’, ‘Diamond Highway’, ‘Grande America’ and ‘Grande Costa d’Avorio’. 

Evolution Forwarding specialise in dangerous goods movements, by air, ocean and road. We provide complete solutions for packing, documentation, compliance and training for dangerous goods products, including lithium batteries. For further information please email info@evolutionforwarding.com or call 0800 4346244.

 

 

 

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