Battery Safety

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SAFE BATTERY USE GUIDELINES: READ CAREFULLY

 

BATTERY SAFETY PART I

Battery Use Caution

Lithium polymer batteries, commonly referred to as "LiPo" batteries or "LiPoly" batteries, are the predominant choice for hobby, commercial, and industrial drones, UAVs, and UASs. Knowing and abiding by safe use (understood in the broadest sense possible) battery guidelines and best practices, both general (all batteries) and specific (particular battery type, brand, and model) will prolong the lifespan of your battery and, more importantly, reduce the risk of damage and/or injury to property and/or person. THE WITHIN GUIDELINES ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED OR INTERPRETED AS REPLACING ANY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES OR PROCEDURES ISSUED BY A MANUFACTURER IN CONNECTION WITH A PARTICULAR TYPE OF BATTERY. USERS SHOULD ALWAYS READ MANUFACTURER-ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO SAFELY USE A PARTICULAR TYPE OF BATTERY. INCORRECT USE OF A BATTERY CARRIES A HIGH PROBABILITY OF PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, COLLATERAL DAMAGE, AND MAY CAUSE A BATTERY TO CATCH FIRE, THEREBY CAUSING EXTENSIVE INJURY TO PERSONS AND/OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.  

Battery Safe Use & Handling: Best Practice

LiPoly batteries are designed and manufactured for a specific purpose, and with safety in mind. Using a LiPo battery for a purpose other than its intended purpose significantly increases the use to property damage and/or personal injury. Among other things, battery users should:

  1. Always read and comply with the manufacturer's battery safety guidelines before using your LiPo battery;
  2. Never alter, modify, puncture or impact, directly or indirectly, a battery or any related components;
  3. Never keep sharp objects near LiPo batteries, or near any other object that could cause a hole in the battery;
  4. Never allow or cause to allow, directly or indirectly, LiPo battery to become wet or immersed in water or any other type of liquid;
  5. Avoid and use all measures to avoid, directly or indirectly, dropping a LiPo battery;
  6. Never place (or cause to be placed), directly or indirectly, a battery in your pocket or non-fireproof bags;
  7. Never store (or cause to be stored), directly or indirectly, loose batteries together;
  8. Never expose (or cause to be exposed), directly or indirectly, batteries to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight;
  9. Absent any specific directions or guidelines by the LiPo manufacturer, a standard safe temperature range is between 40-120˚ F/4-49˚ C;
  10. Never connect (or cause to be connected), directly or indirectly, LiPo battery terminals with metal objects;
  11. Heat is harmful to LiPo batteries. The hotter the LiPo battery, the shorter the lifespan of your LiPo battery;
  12. Never use (or cause to be used) a LiPo battery that is warm from charging, and never charge a battery that is warm after usage;
  13. Always verify LiPo battery voltage before use (this is especially important for batteries that have been out of service for more than 3 months)
  14. Always charge/store batteries in a non-conductive, fireproof container, pouch, or bag;
  15. For best practice store standard lipo batteries at 3.80 volts +/- .05 volts per cell. Or at the manufacturer's suggested storage voltage for non standard chemistry's (Lifepo4, Lihv) 

Charging Your Battery

  • Only use the correct charger for the specific battery type you are trying to charge. If you are charging a Lipo battery, for instance, only use a charger designed for Lipo batteries. If the charger can support different battery types, select the correct battery type. Failure to do so may cause personal injury and property damage.
  • Always charge batteries at a rate of 1C - one (1) times the capacity unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.
  • Always use a compatible balanced mode charger, specifically designed for the chemistry of battery you are using.
  • Always charge Batteries in an open area away from flammable materials, liquids and surfaces.
  • Never charge batteries inside of the drone or other battery operated system.
  • Never charge the battery inside a vehicle.
  • Never charge batteries that are too hot to the touch (above 100° F).
  • DO NOT handle Batteries until they are cool.
  • Never charge a battery that shows signs of smoke or puffing.
  • Never charge a battery pack that has been punctured or damaged.
  • Never let the positive and negative battery leads touch each other. It can lead to cell ballooning, cell damage,  fire or an explosion.
  • Always set the charger to proper cell count and/or voltage listed on the battery's labels.
  • Always charge batteries at a rate of 1C/1 times the capacity unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer
  • Always check the voltage of Batteries before each charge session in order to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe starting voltage.
  • If the starting voltage is below recommended levels than batteries have been over discharged or have experienced a failure and should NOT be charged
  • Never overcharge a battery beyond the capacity listed on the battery label.
  • If you notice your LiPo battery pack is swelling while charging, stop the charging process immediately, put the battery in a safe container and observe it from a safe distance.

Discharging Your Battery

  • Never discharge a battery at amperage rates higher than specified what is specified on the battery level.
  • Never allow the temperature of batteries to exceed the temperatures recommended or advised by the battery manufacturer.
  • Never discharge batteries to voltage below which they are rated by the manufacturer when measured under load (connected to the vehicle or a charger capable of discharge). Batteries discharged to a voltage lower than the lowest approved voltage may be damaged, resulting in loss of performance and potential fire when Batteries are charged.
  • When storing your battery use a voltmeter to ensure they are at the correct storage voltage, if the volts are +/- the voltage rate connect it to your charger and select “storage mode” and charge/discharge accordingly.

Additional Guidelines and Warnings

  • In the event of a crash, always quickly and safely disconnect and remove battery from the drone or battery-operated system when it is safe to do so. Then follow the previously listed safety procedures.
  • If the internal contents of the battery or batteries come into contact with your skin, wash the affected area(s) with soap and water immediately. If it comes into contact with your eye(s), wash them with generous amounts of water for 15 minutes and seek immediate medical attention.
  • Always follow the battery manufacturer's safety instructions and charging guidelines.

BATTERY SAFETY PART II

The batteries that power many of your household devices and children's toys contain harmful substances, like acids, that can cause serious injury and even death if swallowed by a child. They can also pose a risk of fire or explosion.

The tips here can help you and your children avoid serious injury from batteries. Learn how to safely install, use, store and dispose of batteries.

Battery Health risks

Many batteries, such as button batteries, are small enough to be swallowed by children. This can cause serious internal injuries and even death.Batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries, can also overheat, leak, burst, and even explode and catch fire, causing serious injuries if they are not properly:
  • installed
  • used
  • stored
  • disposed
Seek immediate emergency medical attention if you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery. These small batteries can get stuck in your child's esophagus and burn through it, the windpipe and the main artery. Serious or fatal injuries can happen in a matter of hours. Report any battery-related injuries directly to the manufacturer.

Button batteries

Small button batteries
  • It is important to act quickly if your child has swallowed a battery. Button batteries can cause internal burns in as little as 2 hours.
  • Button batteries are often found in many household items, such as:
    • musical greeting cards
    • small electronic devices (like remote controls)
    • children's books
    • light up/flashing jewellery
    • hearing aids
    • key chain accessories
  • Make sure that button batteries stay secure in the products
    • Look for products with battery compartments that prevent easy access. For example, screw-closed compartments are harder to access than those that simply slide to open
  • Always supervise children when they use products containing button batteries
  • Do not allow children to play with button batteries or remove them from household products
  • When replacing button batteries, make sure that used batteries are discarded quickly and properly 

Lithium-ion (also known as Li-ion) batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
The use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in consumer products is very common and they are generally considered safe to use. But as with any energy storage device, they carry safety risks, including overheating, fires, and explosions. Lithium-ion batteries are more susceptible to being damaged than other types of batteries and can become hazardous in certain conditions. Take precautions when using, charging and storing these batteries.Lithium-ion batteries are found in many electronic devices, such as:
  • laptops
  • cell phones
  • power tools
  • hoverboards
  • vaping products (e-cigarettes)

Charging your lithium-ion battery

Lithium-ion batteries can overheat, catch fire or explode if they are not charged in a safe manner. Follow these precautions to help minimize risks associated with charging your lithium-ion battery:
  • Allow batteries to come to room temperature before charging
  • Never attempt to charge a battery in below freezing temperatures
  • Do not exceed the recommended charging time
  • Do not charge your device on soft surfaces, such as a couch or bed. Soft surfaces can trap heat around the battery
  • Use your battery charger in a place you can keep an eye on it in case it overheats
  • Use the charger that came with your device. If you need to buy or replace a charger, make sure the voltage and current are compatible with your device
  • Make sure to use a charger that has one of the recognized Canadian certification marks, such as CSA, cUL or cETL. These marks indicate that the products are assessed to the required Canadian electrical safety standards. Chargers that do not meet the required electrical safety standards may cause electric shock and fire hazards for consumers. For more information on certification marks, visit your provincial or territorial Electrical Safety Authority.
  • Do not use uncertified chargers.

Reduce your risk

Installation

  • Do not allow children to install batteries
  • When installing alkaline batteries, be sure to line up the "+" sign on the battery with the "+" sign on the product's battery compartment. Improper installation can cause a battery to leak or overheat and lead to serious injury
  • Do not use different types of batteries together
    • Do not mix old batteries with new ones
    • Do not mix rechargeable batteries with non-rechargeable ones

Use

  • Always read and follow instructions on battery packaging
  • Do not use batteries that:
    • are swollen
    • are dented
    • have torn plastic wrappers
    • show other signs of damage or wear
  • Buy your batteries from a trusted source
  • Batteries are not toys. Do not let children handle them
  • Do not allow children to take battery-operated items to bed. Burns and other injuries can occur if the batteries leak or overheat during the night
  • Do not leave battery-operated devices, like cell phones and laptops, on your bed while you sleep, especially while charging
  • Do not attempt to recharge batteries that are not rechargeable
  • Do not attempt to repair a device containing a battery if it is not recommended by the manufacturer. Damage to a lithium-ion battery can result in hazards, such as overheating, fire or explosions

Storage

  • Batteries can catch fire or even explode when in contact with metal. Do not store batteries where they can touch metal, like coins or keys, such as in a pocket or handbag
  • Store batteries in their original packaging and in a cool, dark place away from household chemicals
  • Store batteries away from medicine and food so that they are not swallowed by accident
  • Store batteries out of children's reach and sight
  • Carry batteries for your vaping product in a protective, non-metal case
  • Remove batteries from devices that will not be used for an extended period of time, such as seasonal decorations
  • Do not store batteries in a sub-freezing environment, such as your freezer

Disposal

  • Avoid throwing batteries out in household garbage. Many retailers and local governments have battery recycling programs that allow you to drop off old batteries. Contact your local government for a list of drop-off centres
  • Never toss batteries into a fire. They might burst or explode
  • Be sure batteries cannot be pulled out of the trash by a child. Spent batteries can still pose health risks and cause serious or fatal injuries

BATTERY SAFETY PART III

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