Stay safe before, during and after a lithium-ion battery or solar panel system fire with AfriForum’s guide

Fires caused by lithium-ion batteries and solar panel systems are increasing worldwide. Safety regulations and standards are not being adapted quickly enough to adequately equip consumers as technology develops.

AfriForum has therefore compiled a guide with tips on how to be ready in the event of a fire of this nature. These guides include information on precautions and what to do and not to do during such a fire.

The tips include the following:

  • Do not expose lithium-ion batteries to extreme temperatures.
  • Make sure a Class B fire extinguisher is installed near the battery.
  • Perform regular inspections and maintenance on your solar panel system.
  • Make sure your solar panels and lithium-ion batteries are installed by qualified, professionals who follow local building codes and safety regulations.

According to Tarien Cooks, Disaster Management Specialist at AfriForum, ongoing load shedding and other power challenges have forced many people to provide power in alternative ways. As the installation of solar panel systems and lithium-ion batteries increased, so did the risks surrounding them.  “If these batteries overheat or are not installed correctly, they start to burn. These batteries should not just stand anywhere in your house, ideally it should be installed in a separate room with a fire alarm where the fire can be isolated if necessary.”

“During a fire, these batteries explode, causing the fire to spread faster. These fires burn terribly hot and also give off toxic gases, so people should be informed about safety measures related to this,” concludes Cooks.

According to AfriForum, more awareness must be created around the fire hazards of lithium-ion batteries as it is not so easy to get these fires under control and put them out.

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