Lakewood Fire Dept. Issues Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Tips

Fires caused by lithium-ion batteries have increased dramatically in Lakewood. These rechargeable batteries are found in electric bikes and scooters, cars, laptops, tablets, phones, and common household devices. Considering these recent fires, the Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners in conjunction with Fire Chief Jonathan T. Yahr and the members of the Lakewood Fire Department, offer the following information and safety tips.

·       ALWAYS purchase and use devices certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory UL (Underwriters Laboratory) and the most common laboratories.

·       ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s instructions for: charging and storage.

·       ALWAYS use the correct battery, cord, and power adapter.

·       ALWAYS plug directly into a wall electrical outlet for charging.

·       ALWAYS keep batteries and devices at room temperature.

·       ALWAYS store and/or charge batteries away from anything flammable.

·       ALWAYS keep away from heat sources.

·       ALWAYS bring batteries to Recycling Centers.

·       NEVER use aftermarket (or generic) batteries or chargers.

·       NEVER plug into a power strip or overload an outlet.

·       NEVER overcharge or leave battery charging overnight.

·       NEVER charge a battery or device under your pillow, on your bed, or near a couch.

·       NEVER leave e-bikes or e-scooters unattended while charging.

·       NEVER block your primary way in or out of a room/space.

·       NEVER place batteries in Trash or Recycling bin. It is illegal.

Damaged or unstable batteries and improper charging, storage or disposal can cause the batteries to overheat, leading to an explosive, aggressive fire that spreads rapidly, can reignite and is challenging to extinguish.

Lithium-ion battery fires are very dangerous. Water may not prevent a battery from burning and spreading. Battery cells are known to explode and quickly spread to another battery. It can spread to other devices. These batteries may continue to generate heat even when there is no visible sign of fire. Once heat reaches a certain level fire may reignite on the battery and surrounding area.

Fire Extinguishers do not work on lithium-ion batteries fires. If you observe a lithium-ion battery fire, leave the area, CLOSE the door, and call 911 immediately.

Reignition of lithium-ion batteries is common. Lithium-Ion batteries are known to unexpectedly re-ignite (without warning) minutes, hours and even days after all visible fire has been put out.

Lithium-ion batteries can enter an uncontrollable, self-heating state. This can result in the release of gas, cause fire and possible explosion.

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