Red Deer Emergency Services are issuing a warning about the potential risks to improperly using, charging and storing lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in many items, including smart phones, laptops, e-scooters, e-cigarettes, toys and even vehicles. When not used or charged properly, these batteries can start a fire or explode.
While Red Deer Emergency Services has only had three documented fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, larger centres like Calgary and Vancouver have seen huge increases in this type of fire. According to Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, these types of fires have increased fivefold since 2016 and fifty per cent of fire fatalities in Vancouver last year were due to lithium-ion battery fires.
To protect yourself from a lithium-ion battery incident:
- Never overcharge the battery,
- Always use manufacturer-approved batteries and charging cords designed for the device,
- If the device is damaged, take it to a qualified inspector for service,
- Do not charge your device on a bed, couch or under a pillow. Place the device on a hard surface that allows for airflow around the device,
- Keep batteries at room temperate away from direct sunlight, heating equipment, or anything that can catch fire. Do not leave devices in hot vehicles,
- Stop using the battery if you notice odour, change in colour or shape, heat, or odd noises.
If a lithium-ion battery catches fire, please call 9-1-1 as they burn extremely hot and are difficult to put out.
Central Alberta residents can properly dispose of lithium-ion batteries by taking them to the Waste Management Facility, free of charge. Please do not dispose of lithium-ion batteries in the trash.