The Case for Fire Cans in Modern Living Spaces

Our lives, living spaces, and even our own bodies are getting electrified in amazing new ways every single day. With these new devices come the power sources that they need to deliver their experiences. These batteries are like most tools, neither inherently good or evil, neither completely perfect or flawed, and they require an understanding of how to use them properly and safely. The potential for these incredible power sources to be damaged through rough use, incorrect handling and storage is always there lingering. There are no guarantees of perfection in life, but there is ALWAYS the potential to make things suck less. Here is my case for the fire can in our battery-filled worlds. This is not a deep dive in materials properties, but I think we can all agree that our living spaces are now filled with furniture, objects, and stuff in general that are combustible and usually not made of things we want to be breathing in any amount.

Sometimes a simple solution can make things suck a little bit less. This is my pitch for the fire can. This consists of a galvanized can filled partially with sand to provide a temporary spot for a hazardous battery condition to give you time to get that battery to a safer location. The major issue we have with one of our most ubiquitous battery types is thermal runaway. Even those batteries manufactured with the highest quality (likely those from name brand manufacturers) can be prone to thermal runaway from improper charging or physical stress. The idea of having a container close to your charging area of preference or spread out in strategic locations if you charge in multiple locations is by no means a guarantee that the danger of thermal runaway is removed.  It does however suck less than having that same battery in a thermal runaway condition on a combustible couch or melting plastic table while you try to compose your world to get yourself and those you care about out of the immediate danger and call for help to contain and eliminate the hazard. Charging on hard surfaces is better than on soft, fabric surfaces. Charging on materials that are less prone to catching fire is better than those that may easily combust. Having a fire can as a place to stow that overheating or potentially blazing electronic device is better than flinging a flaming hot potato spewing hydrogen fluoride gas around my living space and helps me make things suck just a little bit less.