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Old 06-11-2015, 05:41 PM   #1
guyguerra
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Default A Safe Shop

I've been worried about my batteries for a while and finally think Ive got my shop almost as safe as can be. The last two pieces are a smoke detector which I am ordering, and a fire proof cabinet to charge in. I'm ordering the interconnected type smoke detectors so that one will be in my house and one in the shop (garage) so that I can hear it. Ive got two fire sprinkler heads in the ceiling, one on the right next to the florescent light and one one in front of the fire cabinet on the left. There is a fire extinguisher under the bench as well. The fire cabinet holds all my lipos with exception of the small ones for micro helis. I am trying to find a fire proof container for charging that will fit on my bench. Right now my chargers on on the right hand side of my bench.

I have an advantage here as I am a Plumbing and Fire Protection Contractor, but you can add a fire sprinkler head very easily right off your plumbing piping. You could hire a Plumber, Fire Sprinkler Company, or Do It Yourself. Simply cut a tee into the plumbing cold water piping, run to the area you want to protect, cut the proper size hole in the ceiling and install a residential 155 degree sprinkler head. You can PM me if you need advice. I will put a disclaimer here that you should always use licensed contractors. That said, there is nothing preventing homeowners from working on their own home (disclaimer, in most areas).

The Fire Cabinets and Fire Extinguishers are sold at Amazon.com.



Fire Sprinkler Heads

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Last edited by guyguerra; 06-12-2015 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:35 PM   #2
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Very nice setup
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:37 PM   #3
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I use a drum throne on wheels (I'm a musician) to roll around on, and I have two tripods to keep the helis that I am working on. It seems that theres always two in progress. The second one came with my Logo 700 that I bought used from a friend and the stand came with it. I'm glad I've got two of them now.
I am much more comfortable now that the fire protection is in. I procrastinated on this for a long time, and in the end it took all of 3 hours to do it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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Default One year later I had a fire!

I had thought my garage was a very safe place due to my sprinklers, fire safe cabinet, and fire extinguisher. About two weeks ago I had a 7S Pulse battery catch fire while charging. If it wasn't for the fire sprinkler my house would have burnt down. Even though the fire was put out, the damage is extensive, and I was very lucky that we weren't hurt. My car, motorcycle, twelve helicopters, nitro fuel and thousands of dollars of items were in the garage when it happened. My granddaughter was at our house that day also. I am a Fire Protection Contractor and take our hobby very seriously yet this still happened. I now believe with all the statistics we have about lips batteries, whether it's in our hobby or other uses, a certain number of these will catch fire. Residential sprinkler heads are a life saver, but designing fire proof containers for each charging battery is a much safer goal. There are some shown on youtube, and I will build something so this never happens to me again.


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Old 06-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #5
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How about some details? Were you around while the battery was charging? Was the fire department called? Was the battery in the cabinet, or on the bench?
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:34 PM   #6
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Holy shit!!! Yes, more details. Where was the battery when it was being charged? What else was around it? How did the fire progress? How big was the fireball? What else caught fire?

Thanks so much for sharing.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:27 PM   #7
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The more I read about things like this the more these LiPO's scare me. I like electric heli's but stories like this make me wonder if I should go back to glow fuel. Yeah, that can burn too but generally if you keep it capped and stored in a cabinet away from heat or open flame it'spretty safe.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:55 AM   #8
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Bummer, it looks bad. I hope you didn't loose Gertrude.

Say Hi to the guys at the field. See you in the fall.

Smiles, Tom Fields
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:02 PM   #9
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Sorry to see. Good thing is that the sprinkler system seem to have helped to contain the fire.
Having lost a home and all contents over 6 years ago myself I know that feeling.

Hang in there and do not let the insurance company rip you off.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:15 AM   #10
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I was charging a pair of pulse 7S batteries on an Icharger duo with a modular board from Progressive RC. The batteries were in fine condition, with about 50 flights on them and about two years old. there was nothing out of the ordinary. I don't know what started burning first, but assume it was one of the batteries. Both batteries burned completely along with the charger. It all happened on my wood work bench. Most of the items on the bench were destroyed, which included two more chargers, three converters, several other batteries that didn't burn but had damage to them, and my wires and other paraboards. The fire department was called. This was a major fire and the only thing that prevented my house from burning to the ground was the fire sprinkler system. The head above my workbench was the only one that went off, and it was able to put the fire out before the firemen got there. I will build a fireproof chamber for the charging lipos and use a generator at the field so that I don't have so many batteries to charge at home.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:27 PM   #11
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The issue we always have is that we cannot see inside the batteries. So whenever we his something hard or have a hard landing, dropping it from a bit tighten it with valor straps and pushing the plastic part into it a bit ... Many things not to even possible listing. Those can leave some minor damage inside invisible to us. With those it might be a matter of time. Very rare but it can happen.

I personally had 3 battery fires so far. Two in mid air because the packs have been at the end of the lifetime. One actually after charging when I wanted to put it in a box. In my case I was lucky with my batteries since I only had minor damage to the heli's and the last one I was able to through out of the garage at the time smoke came out.

@guyguerra for simple storage concrete cylinder blocks are an easy method (even charging in those). All you get is the one battery dead and smoke damage but thats about it. For real safe damage guyguerra -> I am sure you know what type of boxes I use. Possibly you could build yourself something similar. in larger scale.
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:44 PM   #12
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guyguerra,

I am glad you are OK, and glad it wasn't worse than it was.
Things like this scare the hell out of me.....
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:54 PM   #13
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Wow! Time to re-think my garage. Good it turned out to be ok and your house is safe.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:13 PM   #14
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I do not understand for the life of me why people charge lipos in the garage or house. Charge you batteries at the field and store them at home in a fireproof container after flying. I only charge at the field with my generator but if you do not have a generator or power at your field then charge in the back yard on a patio table or something. I am also a licensed plumbing contractor but why would you even rely on fire sprinklers. Installing fire sprinklers on the domestic water meter is dumb and also illegal, no flow switches to alarm subject to the water company killing your water for unpaid bills or service interrupts from what ever. No annual testing, what if your wife is doing laundry or running a bath when the fire hits. Its like wearing a shark suit while diving and having a great white bite you just to test the suit out. Not to mention that by the time a fire sprinkler goes off there is a lot of shit burning already since they are in the ceiling well above your workbench. Charge outside the home man and do everyone a favor by keeping insurance rates down. By the way if your garage is not fully dry walled your are a huge risk to burning the entire house down. 5/8" type x gypsum drywall on wood studs at 16" (required for all garages now) center is rated at 1 hour which means it can take direct fire for an hour before degrading. You use it to line custom charge areas if you insist on charging in your garage.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:42 AM   #15
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I'm actually thinking of picking up a $10 toaster oven and yanking the guts out. I've had a few toaster oven fires, and they seem to do a great job of containing the fire. Granted a lipo fire will be worse, but I'll still have handles to just pick the thing up and run it outside before things get bad.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertvizzo View Post
I am also a licensed plumbing contractor but why would you even rely on fire sprinklers. Installing fire sprinklers on the domestic water meter is dumb and also illegal, no flow switches to alarm subject to the water company killing your water for unpaid bills or service interrupts from what ever. No annual testing, what if your wife is doing laundry or running a bath when the fire hits. Its like wearing a shark suit while diving and having a great white bite you just to test the suit out. Not to mention that by the time a fire sprinkler goes off there is a lot of shit burning already since they are in the ceiling well above your workbench. Charge outside the home man and do everyone a favor by keeping insurance rates down. By the way if your garage is not fully dry walled your are a huge risk to burning the entire house down. 5/8" type x gypsum drywall on wood studs at 16" (required for all garages now) center is rated at 1 hour which means it can take direct fire for an hour before degrading. You use it to line custom charge areas if you insist on charging in your garage.
I am a Fire Protection Contractor also. I agree with you completely about not charging in a house, and will never do it again. Thanks for your input on that. As to Fire Protection what you stated is not true. NFPA 13D covers residenrial Fire Sprinkler Systems. I won't go into full details here, but I recommend reading it. It's not a large code book like NFPA 13 or 13R. The intent is different than those codes. It's only concern is saving lives while keeping costs down so that it is a little more affordable than traditional systems. I installed it for more reasons than just charging lipos. Only one head had to go off and it saved my house and possibly my family or pets. It did not stop the lipo smoke, which is very bad all in itself. The fire was out before the fire department got there. The fact is there isn't a home that wouldn't be safer with these installed.

As to charging, I, like you, will charge at the field with a generator, and I already keep the charged batteries in a fireproof cabinet.

Thank you, and the other well wishers, it means a lot to me.

Respectfully,
Guy
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakky View Post
I'm actually thinking of picking up a $10 toaster oven and yanking the guts out. I've had a few toaster oven fires, and they seem to do a great job of containing the fire. Granted a lipo fire will be worse, but I'll still have handles to just pick the thing up and run it outside before things get bad.
Yakky, be careful on this idea. Two things will make this probably not work when it actually happens. First will be the flames. Lipos throw a flame a lot of the time so it may be very dangerous to your hands to grab it. Secondly, and more damage related even if you contain the fire is the nasty smelling smoke that will fill a room in seconds. I don't want to act like an expert in lipo fires, but even some you tube vids show how fast the smoke is, and it is very nasty when in a closed room, trust me on that.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyguerra View Post
Yakky, be careful on this idea. Two things will make this probably not work when it actually happens. First will be the flames. Lipos throw a flame a lot of the time so it may be very dangerous to your hands to grab it. Secondly, and more damage related even if you contain the fire is the nasty smelling smoke that will fill a room in seconds. I don't want to act like an expert in lipo fires, but even some you tube vids show how fast the smoke is, and it is very nasty when in a closed room, trust me on that.
Yeah, I've since changed my mind and am thinking of going the document safe route instead of the toaster.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:39 PM   #19
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Fortunately my garage is a separate building from the house and spaced a distance away from the house. It has electricity but it has no heating and it's all wood frame so I don't charge in there. But sometimes I'll run an extension from the garage to the outside several feet away and I'll charge the battery in an iron grill.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:54 AM   #20
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My brother has a similar situation. He charges his batteries in a shed that's about 30 feet from his house. It would still burn down the trees around the shed, possibly cause a woods fire and be very ugly when finished. The upside is realistically his house probably wouldn't catch on fire and the smoke is outside. It's not ideal, but much better than in an attached garage. I am all set up on field charging now and I do feel safer. I bought a Yamaha generator as opposed to the Hondas that my friends have. I'm very happy with it (the Hondas are also nice).
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