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10,000 fires per year: how dangerous lithium batteries are and how to use them so they don't explode

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun24,2024

10,000 fires a year: how dangerous lithium batteries are and how to use them so they don't explode

It is necessary to ensure that gadgets do not overheat, especially in heat, otherwise they can catch fire along with the housing.

Lithium-ion batteries are now part of almost every device. However, they not only power gadgets, but can also cause fires. About how to protect such batteries from overheating and catching fire, the Interesting Engineering portal told.

How dangerous are lithium-ion batteries

Many of today's portable devices, including phones, tablets, power banks, computers, toys, home appliances, tools, and mobility equipment such as electric bicycles and scooters, contain lithium-ion batteries. They are quite energy-intensive, but contain flammable materials. Risks and hazards associated with them include fire, explosion, radiation spread, chemical exposure, electric shock.

Analysts at Pragmatic Research estimate that between 10,000 and 12,000 fires occur annually due to ignition of lithium- ion batteries.

Where should old batteries be returned

Do not mix batteries with ordinary garbage, as this may cause a sudden fire, and then the apartment or house may be damaged. Some batteries may contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals and other environmental pollutants, which in case of contact with the skin, food, or water can cause burns and poisoning.

Batteries should be handed over to special collection points whose employees know how to dispose of them correctly and safely. Gadgets with built-in batteries, such as e-cigarettes, digital pregnancy tests, key chains, etc., are not always accepted at these points. And this should be taken into account.

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You can find out where the actual places for accepting old batteries are located on the website of the all-Ukrainian eco-movement “Batteries, surrender!” — (ed. note).

Safety measures for users

The Australian National Fire Service recommends that under no circumstances should you touch a swollen or broken device or battery with your bare hands, as heat and/or chemicals can cause serious burns.

Gadgets should be charged using normal rather than fast charging. In this way, you can avoid overheating.

It is worth keeping an eye on phones and wearable devices in the summer, as they overheat and break due to intense heat. The thing is that small devices do not have fans for cooling, like laptops, so they do not tolerate high temperatures well.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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