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Fire department advises Calgarians to be aware of lithium battery dangers

Lithium battery fires increased by 150% in Calgary

Calgary fire officials are reminding residents to be aware of the risk posed by lithium-ion batteries and the "large amount of energy they contain in a small space."

The CFD says while the power cells are safe if used properly, they are prone to overheating and catching fire if they're misused. Officials say the number of lithium battery-caused fires has increased by 150 per cent since last year.

Fire officials say those dangerous circumstances occur when they are not used, charged or stored properly.

"CFD is reminding all Calgarians to buy, store and charge items with lithium-ion batteries safely," said Chief Steve Dongworth in a release.

"Please ensure that you are aware of the safety tips and that you know how to charge and dispose of these batteries properly."

Other advice includes:

  • When buying a new device, make sure it has been properly tested by a qualified laboratory;
  • Only use the batter designed for the device and install the batteries properly;
  • Use only the charging cord that came with the device;
  • If the device is damaged, have it inspected by a qualified professional before charging or using it;
  • Never charge a device under your pillow, on your bed or on a couch – airflow must be allowed around the device during charging;
  • Store batteries out of direct sunlight and keep them at room temperature. They must not be left in hot vehicles either;
  • Keep batteries away from heating equipment or anything else that can catch fire;
  • Never crush, bend or drop a device and its charger; and
  • If you are charging a lithium-ion battery in a mobility device, ensure it is done away from doors, exits and narrow hallways where it could block your escape in the event of an emergency.

More information about lithium battery safety can be found online. Top Stories

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