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Exploding Hand Torch !

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Because I need to take medications to suppress my immune system I have been placed on the Governments "Shielded" register and subject to complete lockdown.

As you can imagine I'm going out of my skull with boredom. It's got so bad that I've even been reduced to watching day-time TV and  YouTube films.

One that caught my attention was one of some Herbert distmantling a lithium battery cell. Lithium being highly reactive it produced a lot of fume, fire and smoke, He did have a "pie-dish  of distruction" to drop the thing into but that didn't stop him burnig another mark on his desk.(Don't try this at home children).

My mind instantly went back to an incident that happened to me very many years ago. We lived then in a house built on falling ground with access to the basement through a door into the back garden.

I was doing some work in the basement which didn't have lighting and was using my trusty rubber-clad large torch.

This contained 3 "D" sized batteries which fitted into a folded tip-plate tube within the rubber covering to give it some regidity and provide the return path for the bottom battery.

Because the torch got through batteries like there was no tomorrow I was using large capacity (4Ah) nickle-cadmium cells.

I was quietly chuntering away to myself when the torch suddenly went very dim. I gave it a shake and then realised that the body of the torch was getting VERY warm. Discretion being the better part of valour I quickly made my way to the doorway and hurled it, German WW2 stick grenade fashion, into the garden.

It had only travelled a very few feet when it exploded, German WW2 stick grenade fashion, with an almighty bang and flash.

I left it severely alone for some time before I ventured out again.

One cell was embedded in the lawn and there were fragments of two other cells still smoking on the path.

The tin-plate tubular sleeve was flattened out better than a skilled tin-smith could have done and the shredded rubber outer case was hanging in a tree in a neighbours garden where it remained for many weeks. I never did find the bulb and reflector.

I've always been very careful with rechargable batteries since then and I daren't even think about the modern lithium cells.

Good Luck Everyone & STAY SAFE.


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Strange, I was only thinking of you a couple of hours ago.

Nice to read your contribution, Mr. hilldweller :)

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