BY Anna Cummins on 28 Aug 2023

These fire suppression kits help to quickly contain a lithium-ion battery fire before it gets out of control

Lithium battery fire extinguisher kit Sea-Fire Europe

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery-powered devices are a part of everyday life, especially on a boat. But owners are all too aware that if their batteries fail, the extremely hot and volatile fire triggered by lithium-ion batteries can’t be extinguished with a common handheld marine extinguisher.

In March 2022, the 200-metre-long car carrier Felicity Ace sank off the Azores after a devastating blaze. The ship was holding almost 4,000 luxury cars, including models from Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley. While it has not been confirmed what started the blaze, experts agree it’s confirmed that lithium-ion batteries in electric cars ignited, meaning the fire could then only be extinguished with special equipment. 

There have been similar incidents recorded on superyachts. An investigation into a 2021 fire, which caused the total loss of 35-metre Tansu motoryacht Siempre, concludes that the fire most likely began in the lithium-ion battery of an electric hydrofoil surfboard. Witnesses confirm that the fire took around 15 seconds to take hold, with flames reaching 2.5 metres in minutes.

While these fires remain a real — and concerning — prospect, it’s essential for owners to make suitable preparations.

The new AVD Fire Suppression Kits from Sea-Fire Europe were engineered for such scenarios. Sea-Fire Europe says their new kits include ‘everything needed to quickly contain a lithium-ion battery fire that has started in a small electronic device before it gets out of control.’

Self-contained AVD Fire Suppression Kits are compact and easily stowed. Upon opening the fireproof containment bag, the user has instant access to an AVD Extinguisher, heat-resistant gloves and protective eyewear. Six simple graphic images provide instructions for use.

Sea-Fire says that using an AVD Fire Suppression Kit is simple. After donning the safety gear, the AVD Extinguisher is shaken, aimed at the fire and completely emptied. The burning object may need to be turned over to access the source of the flames. The device is then placed inside the fireproof containment bag and sealed with the Velcro flap. The bag is rated up to 1,000° C and will withstand the pressure created by potentially exploding batteries. Smoke and gases may escape but should not ignite.

The AVD Fire Suppression Kit is available in six configurations. Ideal for mobile phones, tablets and handheld VHF radios, the small kit includes a 440mm L x 415mm W bag. It’s offered as the kit alone, or with a 500ml or 1L AVD extinguisher.

The large kit (690mm L x 540mm W) will hold bigger electronics like laptop computers and is likewise available as just the kit, or with a 1L or 2L AVD extinguisher.

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