Firefighters offer a Christmas gift caution following an increase in battery-caused fires across California

The San Francisco Fire Department is taking proactive measures to address the rising number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, especially in micromobility devices. With growing concerns about battery safety, the department is actively educating the public on this issue.

A wide range of devices, such as e-bikes, e-scooters, cell phones, laptops, and electric vehicles, are causing concern due to their reliance on lithium-ion batteries.

The National Fire Protection Association has recognized the increase in fires linked to these batteries, leading to a joint initiative with the San Francisco Fire Department and other organizations to introduce the “Charge into Fire Safety” campaign.

The main goal of this initiative is to offer easily accessible and comprehensive information on lithium-ion battery safety all in one place.

“Lithium-ion batteries have become a common feature in the various devices and systems we rely on in our daily lives,” emphasized Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “However, as their usage increases, so does the incidence of battery-related fires, leading to a surge in inquiries about battery safety. To address this concern, NFPA has launched the ‘Charge into Fire Safety’ campaign, providing comprehensive and easily accessible information to address these questions.”

The San Francisco Fire Department has endorsed a campaign that aims to promote safe practices when it comes to purchasing, charging, storing, and using lithium-ion batteries. This initiative aims to mitigate the risk of fires caused by these batteries. The campaign highlights the following key recommendations that individuals should follow:

    1. Purchase and use devices, batteries, and charging equipment listed by a nationally recognized testing lab and labeled accordingly.
    2. Use charging equipment that is only compatible with your device. Stick to the charging equipment supplied with your device for safety.
    3. Avoid overcharging devices or device batteries after they are fully charged.
    4. Recycle lithium-ion batteries rather than disposing of them in the trash. Utilize battery recycling locations or contact the local waste department for proper disposal instructions.
    5. Cease using devices if the battery exhibits signs of damage, such as an unusual odor, excessive heat, popping sounds, swelling, or a change in color.
    6. Ensure device repairs are performed by qualified professionals.

The San Francisco Fire Department and its partners are working together to spread this information and raise public awareness about battery-related fires. Their goal is to promote responsible practices that can help prevent such incidents.

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