We spend hours a day using electronic devices and typically don’t think twice about precautions when it comes to fires — but there are a few ways to make sure your device isn’t a safety risk.
Leo Raudys is the CEO of Call2Recycle and he told WTOP a lithium-ion battery fire is very different from other types of fires.
The bigger the battery the more energy it contains, and Raudys said “that creates a much faster, more intense fire.”
He recommends calling 911 to put out a fire caused by your device or electric vehicle because he says most home extinguishers won’t work.
If you think your device is damaged or appears swollen or is bulging, Raudys says you should put it in sand or cat litter until you can dispose of it. Call2Recycle also offers special disposal kits that can be dropped off at thousands of locations like Home Depot or Lowes.
“They can actually cause fires at waste handling facilities, putting people and property at risk,” stressed Raudys, urging people to find safe ways to dispose of unwanted devices.
Call2Recycle also collects old e-bike batteries at cycling retailers across the country, providing safety equipment to help make the process safe.
Overall, Raudys said if you’re using a device properly, the chances of a fire are low because most lithium-ion batteries are designed to be safe.
“On the odd chance you are going to have a problem, it’s best to be prepared,” he said. “Treat them with care and understand the risks and act accordingly.”
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