Lithium-ion battery warning after Croydon fire

Firefighters are warning people of the dangers of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries found in electronic devices after a serious house fire in Croydon.

A father and son were hospitalised by the fire, which broke out on Coleridge Road in Croydon yesterday evening (June 24).

London Fire Brigade (LFB), who managed to control and eventually extinguish the fire, said Friday they believed the fire was “accidental and caused by the failure of a lithium-ion battery in the kitchen”.

An LFB spokesperson said: “Batteries can present a fire risk if they’re over-charged, short circuited, submerged in water or damaged, so it’s really important to protect them against being damaged and charge them safely.

“Unplug devices once they have finished charging and make sure you use the right charger for your device.

“This is also a timely reminder to test your smoke alarms. There were no working smoke alarms fitted inside the property.

“Having working smoke alarms is so important in helping to detect fires and save lives. They can provide time to escape.”

Meanwhile the brigade also published a list of safety tips related to batteries, replicated below:

  • Always use the charger that came with your phone, tablet, e-cigarette or mobile device.
  • If you need to buy a replacement, always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are lots of fakes out there, and it can be difficult to spot the difference.
  • Avoid storing, using or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures.
  • Protect batteries against being damaged – that’s crushed, punctured, or immersed in water.
  • 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.
  • Never cover chargers or charging devices – that includes using your laptop power lead in bed.
  • When you travel, avoid keeping all your items containing lithium-ion batteries together, especially on a plane. Check with your flight carrier for additional information or advice.

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