Lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous if not used correctly

Published: Apr. 25, 2018 at 9:41 PM CDT
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Lithium-ion batteries have many advantages, like powering up our cellphones, laptops, and much more. Experts are saying though, that it is important that we use these batteries right.

NDSU assistant professor of Engineering Dong Cao says, in our current world of technology, while there are safer batteries which are less likely to explode, lithium-ion batteries are one of the cheapest out there, and can be applied for mass production.

In the past you may have heard of cell phones, hoverboards, and headphones, exploding and catching fire. Leading to the point where some airlines have now installed fireproof bags on board.

The problem with lithium-powered devices are, these batteries store a large amount of energy in a small amount of space, and when batteries are not used for its designated use, they may become defective, causing them to overheat or erupt into flames.

Assistant Fire Chief Gary Lorenz of the Fargo Fire Department shared, that while you may still be using devices powered by lithium-ion batteries, there are some signs you can spot out to help prevent an explosion.

By noticing an odor, a change in color, too much heat, or even a leaking odd noise, you can prevent an explosion. It is important to safely move the device away from anything, or any area that can catch fire.

Some safety tips that can also keep you and your family safe are:

- Never charge a device under your pillow or bed

- Never place batteries in direct sunlight

- Always purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory

- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions

- Only use the batteries that were designed for your particular device

- Only use a charging cord that came with your device or that is made for your device

- Charge your device on a hard, flat surface.

- Never charge your device on carpet, furniture or on top of clothing or bedding.

- Put batteries in the device the right way

Experts warn that when disposing of lithium-ion batteries, you should never place them in the trash. Recycling is always the best option, and you can take the batteries to a battery recycling location in your area.