Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lithium Ion Battery Safety: How to Ensure Safe Use of All Your Electronic Devices

With the holiday season comes a lot of new electronic, battery-powered toys and other devices. Lithium ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices, including: smart phones, laptops, scooters, toys, and even some cars. In rare cases, these batteries can explode and or cause a fire if misused or are defective. Below are some helpful tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on how to safely handle lithium ion batteries and what to do in case of an emergency.

The Problem
    Image result for lithium ion battery fire
  • These batteries store a large amount of energy in a small amount of space.
  • Sometimes, batteries are not used correctly: 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 correct 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. Doing so presents and unnecessary fire risk.
  • 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 is you notice any of the following 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 and 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 community for disposal instructions.
  • Do not put discarded batteries in piles.
  • Lithium ion batteries should be placed in a sealed metal container.