Lithium battery safety

Lithium batteries power many of our electronics including smartphones, tablets, laptops, toys and even cars. These batteries store a large amount of energy in a densely compact space. In rare circumstances, they can be defective and become a fire hazard.

Here are a few safety tips:

Storage

  • Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.
  • If possible, remove batteries from the device for long-term storage.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature and in dry spaces. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, near heaters or in hot vehicles as exposure to a hot environment can cause thermal runaway and catch fire.
  • For long-term storage, place electrical tape over the battery contacts and store them in a metal container.

Charging

Replace damaged charging cables with ones recommended by the device’s manufacturer.
  • Only use the charging adapter and cord that came with the device. Other charging equipment may create excessive heat and overcharging that can catch fire or explode.
  • Stop using damaged adapters or cords. Replace them with ones recommended by the device’s manufacturer.
  • Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.
  • Recharge batteries in long-term storage at least once every six months.

Signs of a Problem

Damaged battery inside a tablet rapidly expanded and split the device open.
  • Damaged, punctured, overcharged and overheated lithium batteries can get hot enough to catch fire.
  • Inspect batteries and devices at least once a week to check for deformities, unusual odors, leaking or excessive heat.
  • Disconnect charging batteries or devices immediately if they display any of these signs and move them away from other combustible materials.
  • If the battery or device catches fire, move everyone to a safe place then call 9-1-1.

Disposal