Battery safety and fire risk

When installing energy storage batteries more people are becoming aware or the risks associated with batteries that have a possibility of going into thermal runaway.

Over the last few years there have been a number of reports of fires and explosions being caused by lithium ion batteries.

‘Zombie batteries’ causing hundreds of waste fires, experts warn

Failing lithium-ion batteries in phones, laptops, cordless tools causing fires in homes every week

April 2020 Fire Report: How & Why Do Lithium-Ion Batteries Fail, Insight from the Jedi Master of Lithium Power!

Li-ion batteries – a fire hazard

2 Killed in Driverless Tesla Car Crash, Officials Say

And now in 2021

Australian LG Chem Solar Battery Recall Announced
March 1, 2021 by Michael Bloch

LG Energy Solution Australia has issued a recall notice for various LG Chem RESU models and battery packs with cells from specific production lots.
In December last year, LG Energy Solution triggered a 
voluntary recall in the USA after receiving five reports of fires resulting in minor property damage. These incidents were associated with LG Chem RESU 10H residential energy storage systems with specific serial numbers sold from January 2017 through March 2019. The recall involved around 1,800 battery systems.

The recall notice notes the defect as being “the batteries may overheat and catch on fire”.

Lithium-ion Battery Safety

Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous – used in everything from phones through to solar batteries and electric vehicles. One of the major advantages of lithium-ion battery technology is its high energy density capabilities – which can also be one of its drawbacks.
While generally very safe, when things go wrong it can happen pretty quickly and violently, leading to venting with flame along with toxic smoke and/or explosion.
The LG Chem RESU is a lithium-ion battery storage system that uses lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) cells. The Li-ion chemistry widely regarded as the safest is lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). But just because a battery uses LiFePO4 cells, that doesn’t make it safe per se – it needs to be part of a well designed system. A good NMC based system would be safer than a shoddy LiFePO4 unit, so while battery chemistry can be a consideration when planning a home energy storage purchase, it shouldn’t be the sole focus.

More and more people are recognising that one of the major issues with energy storage batteries are the dangers with fires and explosions particularly associated with thermal runaway (self-sustaining fires). This has become particularly relevant as people are considering installing the many lithium ion battery technologies in their houses or businesses and are becoming aware of the possibility of the dangers associated with this.

Salt batteries – the only chemistry UL9540A certified for safety

International Standard “UL9540A” has been developed to independently examine Fire Risk with Battery Cells and Evaluate Thermal Runaway Fire Propagation in Battery Energy Storage Systems.

The “UL9540A” test was developed by a third-party safety science organization UL, as a new test method for use in international fire protection regulations (2018 IFC: International Fire Code) and the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 855 technical standard related to installation of energy storage systems.

The test Method is for Evaluating Thermal Runaway Fire Propagation in Battery Energy Storage Systems

The “UL9540A” cell test reproduces thermal runaway conditions, measures the characteristics required to evaluate the following fire risks, and compiles the results into a report:
• Cell surface temperature when a safety valve has ruptured and when thermal runaway starts
• Gaseous components and other matter emitted from a cell during combustion

SoNick batteries are now the only batteries that have successfully passed the UL9540A certification which is to test for thermal runaway using five different methodologies; overcharge, external short circuit, nail penetration through casing and separator and overheating to 800oC,

This report verified that the SoNick battery did not ignite even when heat was forcibly applied from the outside meaning that the chemistry is intrinsically safe.

The results of these independent tests have confirmed what we already knew that the SoNick battery is one of the only batteries on the market today that has no possibility of catching fire or going into thermal runaway which should definitely be comforting when attaching a SoNick battery to your home or business.

If you would like to know more about getting safe, reliable, recyclable, Sodium Nickel Chloride (molten salt) battery storage for your own home, business or micro-grid application visit us at

 We have a number of different sized systems that can cater to your budget and household needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *