I have an electronic device that uses a 3.7v 1500maH LiPo battery and is encased in a poly-carbonate housing. I understand the dangers of LiPo in general, but the battery in question is not large enough to warrant any special handling by shipping companies, so I am curious what the level of danger there is in the event that a battery were to fail. Would this cause the types of fires and explosions we have seen with Samsung cell phone batteries, or would the risk be minimized? I have tried to research the levels of risk based on the battery size, but have only found general information related to LiPo/.
Oh goodness, just one li-po cells can burn your house down for sure.
Li-po is one of the worst batteries for failure, both in frequency of failure and in intensity of failure. When a lifepo4 battery lights up it is fairly tame (a slow flame), when a li-po goes, it can be very violent. I can not say if this one will be violent or not, it depends largely on state of charge at time of failure. If the battery is completely drained the amount of energy it has in it, and the risk of violent failure is much less than if it is charged to 110% or more. In any case, dont be charging it on the carpet in your house unattended. You should just plan for it to light up when you aren't watching and then you won't be surprised.