Exploding Batteries? The Dangers of Lithium-Ion Battery Fires

Lithium-ion batteries are used in everything from electric scooters to residential solar energy systems to electric vehicles. They’re generally easy to use, low maintenance, and versatile, providing a great renewable energy solution.

The problem? When lithium-ion batteries overheat or fail, flammable and toxic gasses are released. These gases can create a fast-spreading fire that’s really challenging to put out.

Design Issues

Due to the way the batteries are designed, the gases that create flames are within a cell battery that doesn’t allow water in. As a result, it takes longer to control the fire.

The number of fires caused by lithium batteries has been on the rise, but fire departments are struggling to keep up with training to help firefighters fight them effectively. The batteries also present explosion hazards. Firefighters are asking manufacturers to redesign this type of battery to make it easier to fight fires when they fail.

Product Recalls

There have been several product recalls for items such as electric scooters and hoverboards due to fire safety concerns. In fact, lithium-ion batteries resulted in over 200 fires in New York City in 2022, according to this NBC News report. Those fires killed six individuals and injured nearly 150.

Lithium-ion batteries are used frequently. If you have items in your home (or garage!) that rely on lithium-ion batteries for power, be on the lookout for product safety recalls. As new technologies are introduced and used for a variety of applications, new problems sometimes emerge. If a product you’ve purchased is recalled, you can either discard or return it for a refund or contact the company to get it repaired.

As we mentioned last month, it can sometimes take years for a dangerous product to be recalled. If your product is overheating or you’re experiencing unexpected issues, contact the manufacturer and discontinue using the item.

Check for product recalls on cpsc.gov/recalls and recalls.gov. You can also search for complaints on saferproducts.gov. If the manufacturer allows you to register your product, do so to make sure you get notified of any recalls.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.