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Batteries Caused House Fire!

 
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:08 PM   #1
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Batteries Caused House Fire!


A contractor friend and neighbor of mine had his house catch fire yesterday.
It started in his garage and the fire department determined that his Milwaukee batteries, that he had put on charge in the morning, were the cause for the fire getting started.

I had not ever heard of battery caused fires, except on aircraft, but I will be less inclined to leave them on charge unattended.

Thought you guys would find this a bit interesting. Anyone else had similar issues?

One of my friend's kids and her boyfriend arrived home shortly after the fire started, he tried to put it out, got some smoke inhalation, but is otherwise OK.

Bunch of stuff in the garage is ruined but the rest of the house appeared to not have damage, though I suspect some water and smoke damage in the adjacent rooms. The FD pulled down the sheet rock between the garage and living space.

Had the kids not shown up when they did, probably would have been a total loss.
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


That's the reason I put mine on a timer.

Batteries caused house fire!-charger.jpg

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Old 04-30-2020, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


Cheap Li-ion cells have it happen from time to time, especially unprotected ones.


Milwaukee batteries are top of the line though, with overcharge protection built in, I would guess it was a fluke.


Still a good reminder not to leave your batteries on the charger when you aren't home.
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


Plenty of ebike videos.

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Old 04-30-2020, 12:30 PM   #5
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


The leading theory on why that dive boat burnt up, killing something like 30 people, was LI-ion batteries being charged and catching fire.



It's worrisome....................
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:59 PM   #6
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


BTW, batteries don't have to be charging to burst into flames.
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:16 PM   #7
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


See: Galaxy Note 7 Battery fires
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:45 PM   #8
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


Milwaukee had a recall on their Nicad batteries years ago due to fire danger.
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:22 PM   #9
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


This guy had all recent m18, m12 platform batteries. Redlithium.

I'm guessing he was charging the m18s.

Effed up his Harley a little bit also. Lots of stuff in the garage melted from the heat.

Funny thing, he and I were talking earlier this week. He said he is wanting to redo his master bathroom.

The master bath is right over the garage. We could see the tub drain trap since the drywall was torn out. I don't know yet if the house got smoked up.


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Old 04-30-2020, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


I remember the chinese hover boards were a problem..
I guess the cheap chinese tools could have the same problem...
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


i have had generics smoke under use . really wish it was a generic that caused this fire .want to believe genuine milwaukee batteries are safe . wondering if i need a new charging area . maybe the makita charger fans would help keep such an issue from happening
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:03 PM   #12
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JFM constr View Post
i have had generics smoke under use . really wish it was a generic that caused this fire .want to believe genuine milwaukee batteries are safe . wondering if i need a new charging area . maybe the makita charger fans would help keep such an issue from happening
It was probably a fault with the circuit. Apparently li-ion batteries hate being overcharged, they hate it so much they light on fire.

You are supposed to keep them topped out about 80% of actual capacity. When you buy cheap cells for flashlights they come without the circuit protection attached, and you have to be very cautious about charging them in a basic charger, they'll just keep giving it juice.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:27 PM   #13
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


About 6 years ago I had a M18 explode and burst into flames in a hotel lobby I was working on. I'd just finished using my hammer drill to drill for a tap on and set it down. The smoke was unreal and filled the lobby and the fire department responded. I got in touch with Milwaukee about it had me send in my kit so they could figure out what happened. They ended up supplying me with a new kit to replace it. I have pics of the battery somewhere.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:05 PM   #14
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


A fire resistant vault for batteries will become common as they hold ever more energy, like paint lockers and gasoline can closets are suggested now.

possible surcharges for home and business premiums? Haz-Mat placards for the trailer/ job shacks?
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:22 PM   #15
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


Update on this.

It was definitely the batteries that caused the fire.

Smoke got into the house and stunk things up pretty good. All their clothing and belongings have to professionally cleaned and laundered. The master bedroom area has to be gutted and rebuilt.

They have had servpro in there for a couple weeks now cleaning everything.

The smoke from the battery fire is apparently very caustic. The tools in closed tool boxes are etched from the smoke, kinda weird, chrome sockets are almost black on the topside, pick one up and the bottom is shiny like new.

They declared everything in the garage a loss, the guy has a ton of tools that will be inventoried and replaced.

They got real lucky, he has a locker cabinet in the garage that has a shirt ton of ammo in it, that was only a couple of feet from the flames. If the cartridges started popping off I'm pretty sure the fire dept backs off and lets it burn itself out.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:31 PM   #16
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Re: Batteries Caused House Fire!


We had a condo go up the other day from a scooter charging up unattended.

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