• Steve H
    More and more, and bigger and bigger, Lithium batteries are in our lives, houses, vehicles and places of work. There are a number of risks with these, if they are damaged (by dropping- cell phones, tablets and Lap tops) over charging (leaving that toy, tool, phone etc over night) using the incorrect charger (not all USB chargers are created equal).
    Another house fire sent me down a worm hole and it's quite scary, as a test & tagger of tools, appliances, and equipment connected to a 230/415volt supply via plug, I found plenty of issues that could have peculated away to the point of catching/causing a fire with lap top chargers and their IEC leads and phone chargers, reading a BRANZ Build article on Lithium Ion Batteries (LIBs) reinforces that this is a heath & safety issue that is steadily getting worse

    Branz have produced a very good white paper on LIBs and the issues that surround them, if you have time over Easter, download it and have a read.
    And consider how and where you charge the devices in your lives that contain them, it's not a good idea to place them on charge in a bedroom.

    A quick rough guide to charging LIBs:

    • Use the correct charger (not all USB chargers are created equal)
    • Examine the battery before charging for signs of damage, swelling, unusual odour, colour change or
    • Don't leave devices on charge for extended periods (or unsupervised)
    • Don't use counterfeit/non OEM batteries in your devices/tools
    • Do not charge a device under a pillow, on the bed or on a couch – they can overheat and cause a
    • Don't place charging devices/LIBs on anything that could catch fire
    • Get a heat detector alarm for your garage & kitchen if you charge LIBs there (smoke alarms are no
      good where dust and fumes are normally present)
    • Don't leave LIBs in direct sunlight or vehicles
    • Don't use damaged USB leads with your devices
    • Have a fire rated charging bay if you have multiple LIBs charging at once
    • Maintain a watch on recalls

    Have a great Easter break folks
  • Steve H
    So where can I find out about which products are subject to recalls? In Australia, it's really easy,here in New Zealand, have a look at Product Recalls NZ you can also find fire related recalls here FENZ recall listing
  • Steve H
    Didn't spot this at the time, it does highlight why Lithium Ion batteries should be treated cautiously

    Car gutted after battery sparks fire in Kerikeri
  • Michael Wilson
    I had a fire at one site a few years back.. We placed a tile underneath the charging stations to reduce the risk of the fire spreading. Then moved to metal cabinets just for extra safety.

    Units needed to be charged overnight so other than hiring someone to sit and watch them they were always going to be left alone.
  • Steve H
    I had a fire at one site a few years back.. We placed a tile underneath the charging stations to reduce the risk of the fire spreading. Then moved to metal cabinets just for extra safety.Michael Wilson

    Yes, it's simple to do, but I'll bet a lot of items with batteries under charge are on, or adjacent to either something that will catch fire, or someone's bedroom. The fumes released when these batteries catch fire are extremely toxic.
  • Greg Sutton
    I have started another discussion relating to storage of larger EV battery packs. Upshot of my current research, there are no regulations regarding storage. I played around with Lithium Polymer batteries when they first came out in model aircraft and boy, were there some scary incidents.

    The UPS aircraft crash out of Dubai proved they do not like getting hot or prodded.

    The current spate of EV fires prove we are only just learning about Li-Ion.
  • Steve H
    Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch
    The Hazard

    Fitbit has determined that there is a risk that, in rare circumstances, the battery in the Ionic Smartwatch may overheat.

    If the battery overheats while a user is wearing the product and the user does not remove the watch, it could present a burn hazard.

    What to do

    Stop using the Ionic Smartwatch and visit help.fitbit.com/ionic to organise a refund.

    Customers will be issued a refund of USD299 and an access code for a discount of 40% off select new products from the Fitbit Store.

    This recall does not affect any other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers
    NZ Rcalls
Add a Comment

Welcome to the Safeguard forum!

If you are interested in workplace health & safety in New Zealand, then this is the discussion forum for you.