Consumer products cause millions of injuries in the U.S. each year. These injuries are often the result of accidents and can’t always be avoided, but you should understand the risks associated with some of the most dangerous products on the market.
Samsung has dominated the recent conversation about lithium batteries after battery defects resulted in the recall of their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, but the danger extends beyond phones. It’s an unfortunate fact of modern life that the batteries we rely on to power our electronic devices can catch fire if they’re damaged or exposed to heat.
These lithium ion batteries are found in everything from cars to computers to phones and hoverboards. In most cases, your device will function fine without incident. However, in rare instances the lithium battery powering your device may catch fire.
HP recently recalled almost 50,000 computers after reports of battery packs overheating, melting or charring, including four reports of property damage totaling about $4,000. A Tesla electric car caught fire during a promotional tour, and hoverboards, or self-balancing scooters, have been linked with at least 99 electrical fires in the U.S., according to the the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
While lithium ion batteries are found in a vast array of consumer products, there are some steps you can take when handling battery powered devices to protect yourself in the event in a battery defect.
Firstly, be sure to check if your product has been recalled due to a battery defect. For example, if you have an HP laptop, you can check their dedicated recall website to see if your battery was affected by their manufacturing defect. Additionally, you should keep your battery powered devices away from heat which will increase the risk of fire. Additionally, keeping battery powered devices separate will ensure that if one battery is damaged, the fire will not spread to other devices and make the situation worse.
In the event of a lithium ion battery fire, use a foam extinguisher the way you would extinguish other fires. If the fire cannot be extinguished, allow the battery pack to burn in a controlled and safe way.
And if you suffer injury or loss due to a battery defect, we're here for you. Questions? Call us.