Lithium-Ion Batteries

FOI Number: 23143

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, Lithium-Ion Batteries, is detailed below.

quick_reference_all

Other FOI's

Looking for other Freedom of Information requests? Visit our dedicated page to search.
manage_search

Freedom of Information

Published on 2 February 2024

WMFS OFFICIAL – NEW – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI23143 

Ref: FOI/23143 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST 

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request. 

Please find below a summary of our findings. 

Request 

We would like to investigate whether there has been an increase in fires caused by items that contain lithium-ion batteries, particularly items that children or young people have access to, such as toys, phones and laptops etc. 
 
Therefore, under Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations, I would like to request the following information: 
 
-The number of household fires caused (or thought to be caused) by lithium-ion batteries in toys, toothbrushes, phones and laptops from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2021 
 
-The number of household fires caused (or thought to be caused) by lithium-ion batteries in toys, toothbrushes, phones and laptops from 01.01.2022 to 31.12.2022 
 
-The number of household fires caused (or thought to be caused) by lithium-ion batteries in toys, toothbrushes, phones and laptops from 01.01.2023 to 30.10.2023 
 
-The number of fires in dustcarts and waste-processing centres fires caused (or thought to be caused) by lithium-ion batteries in toys, toothbrushes, phones and laptops from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2021 
 
-The number of fires in dustcarts and waste-processing centres fires caused (or thought to be caused) by lithium-ion batteries in toys, toothbrushes, phones and laptops from 01.01.2022 to 31.12.2022 
 
-The number of fires in dustcarts and waste-processing centres fires caused (or thought to be caused) by lithium-ion batteries in toys, toothbrushes, phones and laptops from 01.01.2023 to 30.10.2023 
 
If possible, please can you detail what has caused the fire, or what is thought to have caused the fire so we can identify the source of the fire. 

Reply 

We don’t have a property type for bin lorry/dustcart/rubbish truck, they are recorded as lorry/HGV therefore we must search the logs manually. Please see below incidents found: 

09/09/2021 Other Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
16/06/2022 Combustible articles too close to heat source (or fire) Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
20/09/2022 Careless handling – due to careless disposal Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
21/03/2023 Other Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 

Please note that we are unable to tell what type of batteries have caused these fires we searched for incidents where the source of ignition was recorded as “Apparatus – batteries, generators”, which does not mean necessarily it was caused by a battery though, as it could be generators, and they can also be car batteries for instance.   

We don’t record toothbrushes or toys as a source of ignition. We have also searched in incident logs, toothbrushes don’t come up. There’s only one for fire for toys and it’s a toy drone (included below). 

Toys

There was a dwelling fire involving a toy drone in September 2021, which was faulty (not on charge). 

Phone

There was a dwelling fire involving a mobile phone in March 2023, which was faulty and exploded, though there is no mention of whether the battery was involved. 

Laptops

January 2021, 2 incidents involving a faulty laptop, though no mention of whether this was battery related. 

Another faulty laptop in March 2022, again unknown if it was related to the battery. 

November 2022: Laptop left to charge on a bed. 

April 2023: another overheating laptop, though no mention of it specifically being battery related. 

September 2023: Another faulty laptop, and again unknown whether it was the battery. 

We do have 4 incidents at properties recorded as ‘Recycling, reclamation or disposal’ where the source of ignition is ‘Apparatus – batteries, generators’. Please note that doesn’t mean a battery caused the fire, as battery is not mentioned within the log. 

One of these fires in August 2022 says it’s a transformer fire, another in August 2021 says it’s scrap metal on fire, and the other two (May 21 and September 23) do not contain details a cause.  

Please note battery types are not recorded.  

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.  

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF. 

Please note: Due to a migration and ensuring the accessibility of our policies and documents where possible, not all documents referenced in our FOI's are available. If you require a copy of a document referenced in our FOI's which is not linked below or is in a format that is not accessible to you, please email contact@wmfs.net.