Li-Po batteries

General guidelines for using Li-Po batteries

Only purchase batteries from reputable manufacturers or suppliers.


  • Before use, inspect batteries for signs of damage. Never use damaged or bulging batteries, these should be disposed of promptly.
  • Be generally careful not to puncture the battery casing, keep the sharp objects away.
  • Don’t reverse polarities when connecting batteries.
  • Don’t mix battery types, new and old, etc.
  • Li-Po batteries should be disposed of when they no longer hold a substantial charge. Contact the lab manager for proper disposal procedures.


  • Follow the original manufacturers charging instructions.
  • Never charge Li-Po battery above "1C" rate.
  • Always charge batteries inside a fire-resistant container.
  • Make sure that the charger has sensed the battery correctly.
  • Do not over-charge or excessively discharge batteries.


  • Remove batteries from devices for long-term storage.
  • Fully charged Li-Po batteries must be stored inside the flammable storage cabinet in a fire resistant Li-Po safety bag/box.
  • When not using the Li-Po battery for more than 14 days, charge the battery using the storage setting to properly maintain per-cell voltage at the storage value (3.7-3.8 V).

If a potential safety issue arises

  • Perform a hazard assessment (including failure modes).
  • Use heat-protective gloves and safety glasses/goggles to remove the battery from charging (if safe). Try removing the drone from the foam mats if problems happened during tests.
  • Don’t poke or disturb the battery.
  • Notify the lab manager about all incidents.

In case of fire

  • Use the fire extinguisher to completely cover the burning part with powder and stamp out the flame.
  • Use the fire blanket to wrap around the part and if possible remove it away from flammable materials, especially from the foam mats.
  • If possible, place the battery in the flammable storage cabinet to burn out. Make sure to remove all of the stored batteries from the cabinet prior to that.
  • Perform the above tasks only if you feel capable and can do so safely.
  • If it isn’t safe, evacuate and wait for the Fire Department.

Even though lithium is a combustible metal and would normally use a class D extinguisher, National Fire Protection Association so far has found using a regular dry chemical or powder extinguisher will often work. Letting a Li-Po battery burn will likely cause more damage than using an extinguisher, will produce toxic byproducts and sometimes even explode.

Flammable storage cabinet and fire blanket are located in the Brin Drone Lab under the sink. Fire extinguisher is mounted right by the entrance.