Safety tips for devices with lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries caused 216 fires, 147 injuries, and six deaths in 2022, according to the New York City Fire Department.

Lithium-ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices used every day. These include smartphones, laptops, e-bikes, scooters, toys and many other consumer devices. The batteries are also a source of power for automobiles.

These batteries store a large amount of energy, and while they are generally safe, they can pose a threat if not treated properly.

Authorities are urging people who use them to keep the following tips in mind:

When purchasing devices, be sure that the equipment has the Underwriters Laboratories Mark. The UL mark shows that the product has been safety tested.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage.

Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.

Always use the manufacturer’s cord and power adapter made specifically for the device.

Keep batteries and devices at room temperature. Do not place it in direct sunlight.

Store batteries away from anything flammable.

If a battery overheats or you notice an odor, change in shape/color, leaking, or odd noises from a device discontinue use immediately. If safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 911.

TIPS ON BATTERY DISPOSAL

Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash.

Recycling is always the best option. Take them to a battery recycling location, or contact your community for disposal instructions.

Individually bag batteries or tape ends before disposing of them.

Do not put discarded batteries in piles.

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