Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries

Discover essential safety tips for handling and charging lithium-ion batteries in your household devices. Learn how to prevent fires and ensure safe use with our comprehensive guide.

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Safety

Ensuring safety with lithium-ion batteries in your home

Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in a variety of household devices, providing powerful energy storage in a compact form. They power numerous devices, including phones, laptops, cameras, e-scooters, e-bikes, mobility scooters, wheelchairs and vaping devices. While millions of people safely use these batteries daily, it’s important to understand the potential risks and how to mitigate them.

The safe use of lithium-ion batteries

Are lithium-ion batteries dangerous?

When used and handled correctly, lithium-ion batteries pose minimal risk. However, they can present a fire hazard if over-charged, short-circuited, submerged in water or damaged. Following our tips to use them safely.

For specialist advice on charging electric vehicles, please visit the Fire Protection Association website.

For advice about e-scooter safety, visit our dedicated e-scooter safety page. For e-bikes, we have a safety page for that too!

Safety tips and charging advice

  • always purchase devices and batteries from reliable sources
  • adhere strictly to the provided guidelines for both the device and the battery
  • ensure you are using the battery designed for your device and the charger that came with it
  • insert batteries correctly into the device, making sure you’re matching the plus and minus symbols as indicated on the device
  • never charge a device under soft furnishings, pillows, or on your bed or sofa
  • unplug or disconnect devices once they are fully charged
  • charge and store batteries at room temperature, avoiding extremes of temperature
  • keep batteries away from flammable materials
  • ensure batteries are not at risk of being crushed, punctured, or immersed in water
  • be cautious when travelling with devices containing lithium-ion batteries, and check with your travel provider if taking them on a plane
  • ensure your devices are not using more power than a socket or extension lead can safely supply.

Disposing of lithium-ion batteries

Do not throw lithium-ion batteries in the rubbish bin. Instead, opt for recycling by taking them to a designated battery recycling location or contacting your local council for disposal instructions. Ensure batteries are not discarded in piles, and never place them in fires as they can explode.