Concern over lithium-ion battery safety as Western Australians stay home
Australians are being asked to take simple steps to protect themselves against
home fires as more people stay home to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
number of home fires started by lithium-ion batteries continues to rise with 11
fires this financial year compared to seven in 2018/2019.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Building and Energy WA are
warning an increase in the use of lithium-ion batteries expected over the next
few weeks and months could result in a surge of preventable blazes.
lithium-ion batteries are found in electrical devices such as phones, computers
and remote control cars as well as gardening and home improvement tools like whipper
snippers and drills.
and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said COVID-19 restrictions
would see more people at home working or undertaking home improvements and gardening.
more and more people self-isolating we expect renovation, gardening and working
from home activities, which use equipment powered by these batteries, to
increase,” he said.
batteries are typically charged in areas such as garages, sheds and patios that
do not have smoke alarms fitted.
can result in a fire going undetected for some time meaning the fire tends to
do more damage.”
Director of Energy Safety Saj Abdoolakhan said consumers should not use
batteries showing signs of swelling, overheating or damage.
charger and battery must be correctly matched electrically and comply with
Australian standards, so it is vital to only use the charging equipment
supplied with the device or purchased from a reputable retailer,” he said.
battery chargers are required to undergo rigorous testing to meet Australian
standards so be cautious about purchasing any electrical equipment from
overseas. Consumers should look for a regulatory compliance mark, such as a
tick inside a triangle, or go to eess.gov.au to check
whether the charger is approved for use in Australia.
overcharging lithium-ion batteries by removing them from the charger as soon as
they are recharged.”
have been over 490 accidental home fires in Western Australia this financial
Klemm said now was the time to check all smoke alarms in your property were
working, clean and had functioning batteries.
working smoke alarm is your first and best defence against fire in your home,”
underestimate the speed and ferocity of a house fire because flames can engulf
a room in less than five minutes.”