Submitted By: Katie Heck
Did you receive a new electronic device for Christmas? Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly found in devices and systems that we interact with daily. While these batteries provide an effective and efficient source of power, the likelihood of them overheating, catching on fire, and even leading to explosions increases when they are damaged or improperly used, charged, or stored. Lithium-ion batteries most commonly power micro mobility devices such as e-bikes and e-scooters, smaller electronics such as cell phones and laptops, and electric vehicles. As the use of these items has increased in recent years, so, too, has the number of fires associated with them.
Important Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Tips:
- Choose certified products. When purchasing lithium-ion battery-powered devices, look for products that are listed or safety certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory with markings such as UL, ETL, CSA or SGS to ensure they meet important safety requirements.
- Only use the charging equipment that comes with the product. Store batteries away from extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, exits, and anything flammable. Charge larger devices away from your exit path and outside your home if possible. Do not charge larger devices overnight.
- Always stay alert for warning signs. Check battery-powered devices often for damage or abuse such as swelling or punctures. Listen for unusual hissing or popping sounds. Watch out for excessive heat or a strange odor. If you notice any of these warning signs, stop using the lithium-ion battery-powered device immediately. White or gray wispy smoke indicates there is immediate danger of fire.
- Recycle devices and batteries properly. When disposing of batteries, chargers or battery-powered devices DO NOT put them in the trash! Take them to the recycling center.
- Get out if there’s a fire. Get out if you see or hear warning signs. Follow your home fire escape plan to leave immediately and call 9-1-1.
This release, helpful graphics, and answers to frequently asked questions are available on our website at this link: https://www.lehighfd.com/community/page/lithium-ion-battery-safety