Whether you realize it or not, lithium batteries are a big part of your life. So many things that we use every day such as cell phones, e-cigarettes, laptops, smoke detectors, and children’s toys are powered by a lithium ion battery. These batteries operate without any problems most of the time but because they store so much power, they can explode or catch fire when they are used carelessly or improperly. It is important to be aware of the potential dangers of lithium ion batteries and follow good battery safety tips to prevent fires or explosions.
Why are Lithium Ion Batteries a Fire Risk?
It may be hard to believe but these small batteries that are in so many devices we use every day have the potential to start fires. The following characteristics make these batteries potentially dangerous:
- Lithium ion batteries are small and they store a lot of energy.
- If these batteries are not used for the right purpose, they could malfunction in dangerous ways.
- Some lithium ion batteries are defective which makes them more likely to overheat, explode, or start fires.
Battery Safety Tips
These safety tips will help you avoid battery overheating, fires, and other potential problems:
- Only use devices tested by qualified labs.
- Pay attention to the instructions from the manufacturer.
- Use batteries made specifically for your device.
- Install the batteries immediately, do not leave them out.
- Charge your device with the chord that came with it.
- Do not put your device on your bed, couch, or any surface that could possible catch fire while its charging.
- Store batteries at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and anything flammable.
Signs of a Battery Issue
If your lithium ion battery has any of the following issues, stop using it immediately, keep it away from flammable materials, and call 911 if there is an emergency:
- Excessive overheating
- Strange odor
- Change in color or shape
- Strange noises
Proper battery disposal is important for preventing dangerous mishaps. Make sure you follow these tips:
- Never throw lithium ion batteries in the garbage can.
- Keep used batteries in a metal container.
- Take your used batteries to a recycling center. You can call your community to find out where the closest place is to you.
- Do not pile up used batteries.
By using your lithium ion batteries with care and disposing of them properly, you can avoid problems like overheating and leaking that could lead to fires. If you have an issue with a lithium ion battery that results in a fire, call 911 right away as well as a fire damage restoration professional to restore and repair the damage. With as much as we use lithium ion batteries on a daily basis, it is crucial that we follow good battery safety and disposal practices.