Battery Fires

FOI Number: 23147

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, Battery Fires, is detailed below.

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Freedom of Information

Published on 2 February 2024

WMFS OFFICIAL – NEW – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI23147 

Ref: FOI/23147 

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 batteries (including lithum-ion batteries). For instance, toys, laptops, electric toothbrushes 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 items containing batteries from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2021 
 
-The number of household fires caused (or thought to be caused) by items containing batteries from 01.01.2022 to 31.12.2022 
 
-The number of household fires caused (or thought to be caused) by items containing batteries 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 items containing batteries 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 items containing batteries 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 items containing batteries 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 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.  

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date cause source of ignition property type 
08/01/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
12/02/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
10/04/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
18/04/2020 Accumulation of flammable material Apparatus – batteries, generators Recycling, reclamation or disposal 
18/04/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
14/05/2020 Faulty fuel supplies – Electricity Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
28/05/2020 Faulty fuel supplies – Electricity Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
03/06/2020 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
05/06/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
02/07/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
19/07/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
05/08/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
13/08/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
15/08/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
20/08/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
25/08/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
09/09/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
15/09/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
01/10/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
16/10/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
03/11/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
04/11/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
13/12/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
16/12/2020 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
27/12/2020 Other Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
12/01/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
18/02/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
27/02/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
08/03/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
24/03/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
18/04/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
23/05/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
26/05/2021 Careless handling  – due to careless disposal Apparatus – batteries, generators Recycling, reclamation or disposal 
27/05/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
03/06/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
27/07/2021 Faulty fuel supplies – Electricity Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
19/08/2021 Combustible articles too close to heat source (or fire) Apparatus – batteries, generators Non-dom 
25/08/2021 Other Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
09/09/2021 Other Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
20/09/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
30/10/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
13/11/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
23/11/2021 Faulty fuel supplies – Electricity Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
21/12/2021 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
16/01/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
17/02/2022 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
05/03/2022 Negligent use of equipment, appliance or heat source (not cooking) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
27/05/2022 Negligent use of equipment, appliance or heat source (not cooking) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
04/06/2022 Negligent use of equipment, appliance or heat source (not cooking) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
07/06/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
09/06/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
16/06/2022 Combustible articles too close to heat source (or fire) Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
18/06/2022 Cooking – any other cooking left on or unattended Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
03/07/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
18/08/2022 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Recycling, reclamation or disposal 
25/08/2022 Faulty fuel supplies – Electricity Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
27/08/2022 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
20/09/2022 Careless handling  – due to careless disposal Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
21/09/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
24/09/2022 Faulty fuel supplies – Electricity Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
06/10/2022 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
07/10/2022 Negligent use of equipment, appliance or heat source (not cooking) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
25/10/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
10/11/2022 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
15/11/2022 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
16/11/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
30/11/2022 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
19/01/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
21/03/2023 Other Apparatus – batteries, generators Bin lorry 
25/03/2023 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
12/04/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
20/04/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
24/04/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
18/05/2023 Faulty leads to equipment or appliance Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
11/06/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
28/07/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
04/08/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
15/08/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
07/09/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 
08/09/2023 Other overheating Apparatus – batteries, generators Recycling, reclamation or disposal 
06/10/2023 Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating) Apparatus – batteries, generators Dwelling 

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. 

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.