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Fire and Emergency campaign to raise awareness about lithium-ion battery fires

Monday 2 October 2023, 3:54PM

By Fire and Emergency New Zealand

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Lithium-ion battery fires are increasing globally and here in Aotearoa, and people need to know the risks and what to do if their device catches fire.

Fire and Emergency’s latest campaign will focus on raising people’s awareness of the dangers of incorrectly charging lithium-ion batteries - in particular, e-bikes, e-scooters and vapes.

"These days, lithium-ion batteries are everywhere; in phones, laptops, power tools, scooters, electric cars, vapes and children’s toys," Fire and Emergency’s Community Education Manager Adrian Nacey says.

"They are light, compact, powerful, and long-lasting, but can be a fire hazard if they are damaged, tampered with, or improperly disposed of.

"It is important people charge lithium-ion batteries with the charger they are designed to work with because if charged incorrectly, these batteries can overheat, and cause violent fire in seconds, causing significant injury or damage."

Research shows many people don’t associate their everyday lithium-ion powered items with the risk of fire. The campaign will use attention-grabbing warning labels to build awareness of the danger hidden in these everyday items if not charged correctly. The ‘warning label’ advertising will feature across radio, social and digital channels, and on buses, bus stops and street posters.

The campaign also seeks to warn the public on the need to evacuate immediately and call 111 if their battery starts smoking or catches fire.

"We hope this campaign will help the public better understand the dangers of lithium-ion batteries, so they know to use and charge their devices correctly to keep themselves and their whānau safe," says Adrian Nacey.

For more information on the campaign head to Lithium-ion Battery Safety | Fire and Emergency New Zealand