Lithium.Ion Battery fires

Yup - the batteries you buy for a boat are a lot harder to light on fire than a car battery or a laptop/power tool battery.

there is a lot more stored energy in an EV battery bank than a single battery in a car or power tool
Hard to ignite but more potential and harder to put out as we have all seen.

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I’m sorry it is a little late to join the webinar

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Thermal Runaway of Lithium-Ion Battery Destroys Tanker’s Bridge (

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Wow! Makes me wonder if someone saved a few shekels by buying cheap (Chinese) replacement batteries? I note the investigation recommending UL-approved batteries.

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That NTSB report states that no fire detection equipment was installed or required!!

IMHO that fire started so easily and quickly that an accelarant may have been involved. If I was the insurer, I would consider the possibility of arson.

I suppose that there is a tendency to think that the bridge is always manned when it may only be visited every 4 hours in port when the duty mate fills in the logbook.
On some ships the cargo office on the main deck was equipped with a barometer and wet and dry thermometers so the logbook was maintained in the office. The bridge 10 decks above was kept locked and only visited when the vessel was preparing for sea.

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SOLAS might not need fire detection in a control position, but ABS certainly requires it.

I am not sure if solas does not require fire detecting system on the bridge, The wording of the regulation is vague and vagueness causes uncertainty, that allows for different/weird interpretations.

Here is solas :

“accommodation and service spaces and control stations”

What is control stn acc. to solas? :

Have never been on the bridge w/o smoke detectors and on some there was a smoke detector even in the GMDSS console area. That fact pissed me off a lot as with closed curtains I could not smoke, while talking to my friends on the HF radio w/o generating fire alarm.

Have always considered the bridge area, having sliding doors on p/s & stb/s , as a convenient escape route ,although acc. to tradition it should be my last concern as I am supposed to leave as the last one :wink:

Now quoting after NTSB report:
" Per DNV, the classification society for the vessel, the S-Trust smoke detection and alarm system complied with Method IC from the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 (IMO/MSC.1/Circular 1456 Annex 1) for fire protection. This only required fixed fire/smoke detection in all corridors, stairways, and escape routes within the accommodation spaces. According to SOLAS, the bridge of a vessel is defined as a control station and is not required to have fire and/or smoke detectors " end quote.

Why the hell they have they drawn such conclusion? - i do not know. May be I am missing something or missing a lot.

Now quoting Safety4sea news joint article : NTSB Investigation: Fire on crude tanker S-Trust caused by lithium-Ion battery thermal runaway :
“The first indication crewmembers had of a possible fire aboard was the loss of the closed-circuit camera feed to the monitor in the master’s office. Had the fire occurred while the vessel was underway, there would have been personnel on the bridge, and the fire would have been immediately detected. Additionally, the vessel’s bridge did not have a smoke or fire detection system (nor was it required to), which also allowed the fire to grow undetected” end quote.

Well I am still not sure it was not required due to 2x times , repeated sentence in IIC & IIIC : " except spaces which afford no substantial fire risk such as void spaces ,sanitary spaces , etc."

Surely bridge space does not fit into such criteria ,although it is conveniently connected with sanitary area and I can not immagine with INBS and all other electrical and electronic systems tightly packed in this area , that it could possibly be not protected.

Acc to above pictured fragment of solas none of this mentioned IC methods say anything abt protection of control stn. Therefore i can not understand NTSB argumentation. But of course I can be wrong .

What I imagine or not, nobody gives a damn as the below pictures indicate , there are bridges with and without fire detecting system .

Wonder what “ACE” Dr. Sal has to say abt it.



2 Control stations on cargo ships – application to cargo ships (regulation II-2/7.5.5)

As no reference to control stations is made for any of the protection methods provided in accordance with SOLAS regulations II-2/, and, control stations on cargo ships do not need to be covered by a fixed fire detection and fire alarm system.

Parent topic: Annex 1 – Unified Interpretations of Solas Chapter II – 2


Check out what your tool batteries can do:

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New Alert from USCG: