Fire department issues warning after recent lithium-ion battery fires
Lithium-ion battery safety alert
– Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services on Tuesday alerted residents to the potential hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries. There have been recent fires associated with lithium-ion batteries in Paso Robles, according to the department.
“The events we have had involve lithium batteries for toy drones and RC cars in the charging state,” said Paso Robles Fire Captain John Prickett. “We also had someone purchase lithium-ion batteries on eBay and when charged had issues causing a fire.”
“We really want people to adhere to manufacturers’ charging directions and purchase UL-approved batteries, he said. “We also push for charging with the appropriate charging cord.”
The fire that damaged a Paso Robles home on Sept. 27 is believed to have been caused by a battery fire, Prickett said.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports that when people store and charge their lithium-ion-charged devices inside their homes, garages, or businesses, there is the potential for battery charging to lead to fires.
It is normal for batteries to generate some heat when charging or in use. However, if a lithium-ion battery charger or lithium-ion-powered device is overheating, changing color or shape, leaking, or making popping noises, these signs can indicate a potential fire risk. In these situations, discontinue use immediately. Unplug the device if you can do so safely, move it away from flammable materials and call 911. Lithium-ion battery fires are difficult to extinguish and are safest stored in a garage.
Consumers should be alert to proper care and usage of lithium-ion batteries, and exercise good judgment when charging. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage. Use only the manufacturer’s cord and power adapter made specifically for the device.
Citizens can help firefighters by staying alert with lithium-ion battery use and storage. Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services is available to answer questions regarding fire safety. Visit the Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services website at prcity.com/198/Fire-and-Emergency-Services for information about the department and fire safety or call (805) 227-7560.