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Lithium-ion batteries are pretty safe, but be on the lookout for problem signs


Lithium-ion batteries have changed the consumer electronics market to a massive extent by enabling manufacturers to come up with smaller gadgets and tools while still offering impressive battery backup and with electric vehicles market heating up, these batteries are here to stay for quite a long time.

Safety is one of the key benefits of lithium-ion batteries, but recent incidents including a massive global recall of Samsung Note 7 smartphones, multiple reported blasts of e-cigarettes, and hover boards fires have shaken this confidence. While we do not intend to be a scaremonger, but there are instances when these batteries end up causing fire or explosions.

In almost all cases, it is the manufacturing defect that has caused fire or explosion in the battery and while this is something that consumers do not have control over, there are a few signs that people can look for to find if their lithium-ion battery has a problem or not.

Indicators such as burning smell / odor from the battery, or your gadget becoming too much hot; or leaks from the battery; or change of the color of the battery case; or inflammation of the battery indicate that there is some sort of problem with the battery and it is at risk of explosion or catching fire.

Some of the precautions that you need to take in case of lithium-ion batteries include:

  • Make sure you only use a battery in a particular gadget that has been designed for the device;
  • Use the charging cable that has been specifically made for the battery and the device;
  • Do not freeze / heat the batteries;
  • Do not charge your gadgets while they are under a pillow or a blanket or under books or any other flammable material;
  • Keep the batteries away from direct sunlight and do not store them in containers that are kept in places that tend to become hot.