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Lithium Batteries: Keeping your home safe

20 October 2023

#ValleysMag | #YBaeMag | Your health and safety |

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Do you own an e-scooter, e-bike, or mobility scooter?

If so, you probably know that these gadgets rely on powerful lithium batteries to keep them moving. These batteries can also be found in mobile phones, laptops and e-cigarettes. While these batteries are usually safe, it’s important to understand how to use and store them correctly to avoid any risks.

Lately, there’s been an increase in incidents involving lithium battery-related fires, especially in Wales. With more and more people adopting e-scooters and e-bikes, it’s crucial to know how to prevent potential dangers.

Why do lithium batteries pose a risk?

Lithium batteries, though helpful, can sometimes cause problems. They might overheat, malfunction, get damaged, or even become overcharged. In worst cases, this can lead to smoke, explosions, or fires.

To help you stay safe and secure at home, here are some essential tips:

  1. Shop smart: When purchasing any battery-powered product, ensure it comes from a trustworthy seller. Avoid counterfeit products that don’t meet British or European standards, as they can lead to dangerous situations.
  2. Stick to the original charger: Always use the charger that comes with your device. Using poor-quality chargers can harm the battery and pose risks.
  3. Follow instructions: Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging the battery. Unplug the device once it’s fully charged to prevent any mishaps.
  4. No overnight charging: Don’t leave your device plugged in overnight or unattended. This simple step can greatly reduce the chances of a battery-related incident.
  5. Temperature matters: Keep batteries away from extreme temperatures, both high and low. This helps maintain battery health and reduces the risk of accidents.
  6. Regular checks: Regularly inspect the battery for any signs of damage. If it’s damaged, don’t use it to avoid potential dangers.
  7. Listen to the battery: If you notice the battery isn’t holding a charge, feels unusually hot, swells up, or makes hissing sounds while charging, unplug it immediately.
  8. Mind your sockets: Avoid overloading your electrical sockets, as this can lead to overheating and potential hazards.
  9. Uncovered charging: Never cover chargers or battery packs while they’re charging. Covering them can cause overheating, which might result in a fire.
  10. Safe charging space: When charging your device, ensure there’s plenty of space around it and that it’s not blocking any exits or communal areas such as hallways and stairwells. This is important in case of an emergency, like a fire.

Bonus tip: Make sure your smoke alarms are operational on every floor of your home, including the area where you store or charge your device. We try to check these regularly for you, but if you’re worried yours has a fault, please report it straight away.

Remember, safety comes first. If you ever notice smoke or fi re coming from a battery, evacuate your home immediately and dial 999 for help.

For even more advice specifically tailored to e-scooters and e-bikes, check out the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s informative guide:

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your battery-powered devices with confidence, knowing you’re taking the right precautions to keep your home safe.

If you need support, contact us on 03000 030 888 or by using our online form.