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Battery hazards - which technology provides the safest solution?


Publication date:

02 May 2018

Last updated:

08 November 2018


Dr Geoffrey J May

In this Insurance Institute of London (IIL) property lecture Geoffrey May described the hazards of using batteries and which types pose the greatest risk.

All batteries are self-contained energy sources and a potential fire hazard but higher energy density brings higher risk. The principal types of battery were described and categorised according to their construction to indicate which types are more likely to cause fires and explosions. Toxic hazards were also briefly discussed. The principal safety standards were outlined. The lecture concluded with a few case studies to show how a relatively minor battery fire can lead to major losses.

By the end of this lecture members would have gained and insight into:

  • The main types of battery in use and the nature of hazards in use
  • Which types of battery pose the highest risk
  • How the use of batteries will increase in the future

 View the accompanying lecture slides »

 Download CPD certificate »

Duration: 23 minutes


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This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.