FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to be wary of the dangers of lithium-ion battery fires.
Around once a week, Victorian firefighters respond to a fire caused by a lithium-ion battery. CFA deputy chief officer Garry Cook said “when lithium-ion batteries are damaged, misused or fail to meet compliance standards, they pose a serious fire risk, particularly while they are connected to chargers.”
“These devices make our lives easier, however people should know the risks and make sure they use e-products correctly. The best way to keep you and your family safe is to only purchase from reputable suppliers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the compatible charger that came with the product,” he said.
Energy Safe Victoria is reviewing its guidelines on lithium-ion batteries. Energy Safe CEO Leanne Hughson said “all batteries come with a degree of risk but it’s how you treat them and the care you take with purchasing that determines whether they become dangerous.”
“If they’re damaged, replace them and don’t take shortcuts to save some money. Common factors with lithium-ion fires are aftermarket, recycled or modified batteries. They may be cheaper, but they are not worth the risk. You want the safest option which is the battery that is built by the same manufacturer as the product. It’s the same principle with chargers – do not buy the cheapest charger you can find unless it’s made by the manufacturer of the product,” she said.