We all own multiple chargers these days and in fact, there's a good chance you are reading this article on a device powered by a lithium battery, because they are first choice for mobiles, computers and tablets, as well as smaller devices like e-cigarettes.
As rechargeable batteries have got smaller, more problems have been popping up. Every year the fire service respond to thousands of incidents started by charging devices and across the world manufacturers recall millions of products due to potential defects. If you'd like to see if any items you own have been recalled, you can check online at - www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/
As Christmas approaches, please play your part in keeping your loved ones safe and think about the gifts you purchase as many of them will contain rechargeable batteries.
Here are some useful safety tips:
- We recommend always buying from a recognised supplier
- Please avoid buying cheap alternatives, as they may not have undergone safety tests
- Always use the charger that came with your device. If you do need to buy a replacement, always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust.
- Avoid using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures. Do not leave batteries in direct sunlight or in hot vehicles.
- Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete – it's best not to leave your phone plugged in overnight for example.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and never cover chargers or devices that are charging – that includes using your laptop, tablet or phone in bed.
- If you notice signs that the battery has a problem, such as overheating, odour, leaks, bulging, or a change in colour/shape, turn the device off and move it away from anything that can catch on fire.