Lithium-ion Battery Safety

Just the Facts on Lithium-ion Batteries

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Incidents involving lithium-ion batteries are on the rise. Everyday use leads to everyday incidents.

A graph shows 1,560 incidents, 621 injuries and 111 fatalities from January 1 to October 19, 2023

Total Incidents Reported (1995-10/19/2023)

Product
Incidents
Consumer Products (tablets, computers, phones, etc.)1,159 Total Injuries
114 Total Fatalities
Micro-Mobility Devices (like scooters that travel under 20 mph)1,140 Total Injuries
214 Total Fatalities

New technologies present new risks

Lithium-ion batteries can go into thermal runaway undetected and result in a fire. Not just any fire, a fire that emits flames, smoke and toxic gases that can cause an explosion and spread throughout a house, apartment, or storefront.

Fire moves fast!

From the first warning signs of smoke or hissing noises, you may have less than one minute to escape a fire.

Take C.H.A.R.G.E. of Battery Safety

The best way to be safe is to prevent a lithium-ion battery fire from starting. Take these important actions now:

  • C. Choose certified products.
  • H. Handle with care.
  • A. Always stay alert for warning signs.
  • R. Recycle devices and batteries properly.
  • G. Get out quickly if there’s a fire.
  • E. Educate others on safe practices.

Learn more at batteryfiresafety.org.

E-Bikes and E-Scooters

E-Bike and E-Scooter Safety

The popularity of electric bikes and electric scooters (e-bikes and e-scooters) has taken off over the past few years. Lithium-ion batteries are usually the source of power for both, and if not used correctly, or if damaged, those batteries can catch on fire or explode. Whether you use e-bikes or e-scooters as your main way of getting around, or just for fun, there are important safety tips to keep in mind when charging or storing these devices.

The Problem

  • Damaged or defective batteries can overheat, catch fire, or explode.
  • Lithium-ion battery fires give off toxic gases and they burn extremely hot. Safety Tips
  • Only purchase and use devices, batteries, and charging equipment that are listed by a nationally recognized testing lab and labeled accordingly.
  • Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
  • Only use the battery and the charger that were designed for, and came with, the device.
  • Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged.
  • Only charge one device or device battery at a time to prevent overloading the circuit.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature when possible. Do not charge them at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) or above 105°F (40°C).
  • Do not store batteries in direct sunlight or inside hot vehicles, and keep them away from children and liquids. Store e-bikes, e-scooters, and batteries away from exit doors and anything that can get hot or catch fire.
  • Only have device repairs performed by a qualified professional.
  • Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash. Recycling is always the best option. Take the batteries to a battery recycling location or contact your local waste department for disposal instructions.

Signs of a Problem

Stop using the e-bike or e-scooter if you notice any of these problems with the battery: unusual odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, smoking, or not keeping a charge.

If you see a fire...

  • Leave the building immediately.
  • Don’t try to fight the fire.
  • Call 911

Learn more at batteryfiresafety.org