Battery fire season

Battery fire season: Vancouver fire officials warn of a spike of lithium ion battery fires. What are the warning signs? How do you avoid battery fire season?

Battery Fire Season

So far this year overcharging lithium ion battery fires caused five deaths in Vancouver according to the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service. From 2016 to 2021 deaths from fires caused by batteries jumped from 6 to 30.

The most recent fire was caused by a modified e-bike battery.

However fires can be caused by any of the plethora of devices that come with lithium-ion batteries such as smart phones, smart watches, laptops, tablets, Blu-tooth headphones. This affects your office.

What are the warning signs?

Common warning signs that a lithium ion battery is getting over charged are:

  • extremely hot to touch
  • swelling
  • hissing noise
  • odour
  • smoke
    If your device is doing any of the above, unplug it immediately and put it somewhere cool away from flammable items (like paper and cloth).

How to avoid battery fires

Use only charging cords from the manufacturer. I know that one is expensive. I have seen knockoff Apple charging cords for anywhere from $10 to $20 cheaper than Apple Store cords.

Always monitor a charging device. Don’t plug it in and leave the office. Make sure you disconnect the charging cable as soon as it reaches 100%.

Watch where you charge. Don’t charge devices on or near flammable items such as paper or other devices.

A little extra attention and manufacturer charging cords can help you avoid battery fire season.