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Naperville
Friday, April 12, 2024

Fire Prevention 24-7 – Safety tips for lithium-ion batteries

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Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly found in devices and systems that the public use or interact with daily. Lithium-ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices including smart phones, laptops, e-scooters and e-bikes, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys and even cars. If not used correctly, or if damaged, these batteries can catch on fire or explode.

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. The Naperville Fire Department offers several resources that provide information to promote safer use of lithium-ion batteries across a wide range of applications.

The Problem – These batteries store a large amount of energy in a small amount of space. Sometimes batteries are not used the right way; batteries not designed for a specific use can be dangerous. Like any product, a small number of these batteries are defective.

Safety Tips – Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Only use the battery that is designed for the device. Put batteries in the device the right way. Only use the charging cord that came with the device.

Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch. Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged. Keep batteries at room temperature when possible. Do not charge them at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) or above 105°F (40°C).

Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.

Signs of a Problem – Stop using the battery if you notice these problems: odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire.

Battery Disposal – Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash. Recycling is always the best option. Take them to a battery recycling location or contact your community for disposal instructions. Lithium-ion batteries can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste site at 156 Fort Hill Drive. Hours are from 9AM to 2PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin is the Naperville Fire Department Community Education Specialist. Contact her via email at mclaughlins@naperville.il.us.
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