Thursday, July 05, 2018 - 3:45 PM

Lithium Battery Safety for Consumers

Lithium ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices including smart phones, laptops, scooters, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys and even cars. Take care when using them. In rare cases, they can cause a fire or explosion.

The St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) wishes to remind all citizens of the following safety tips when using lithium ion batteries;

Items to be Aware of

  • 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. They can overheat, catch fire, or explode.

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.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature.
  • Do not place batteries in direct sunlight or keep them in hot vehicles.
  • 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, odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away
from anything that can catch fire. Call 9-1-1.

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 municipality for disposal instructions.
  • Do not put discarded batteries in piles.

For more information contact:
Captain Mike Maher
Fire Prevention Officer
St. John’s Regional Fire Department
(709) 576-3905
fireprevention@stjohns.ca