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“Do you smell smoke?” Your everyday tech can cause battery fires

With thanks to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)

From January to September 2023, QFES recorded 47 residential structure fires, eight non-residential structure fires, and 38 other fires that were reported as having been due to lithium-ion batteries.

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (RLIB) powered devices can cause explosions and intense fires, leaving little time to escape.

Fast facts:

  • 60% of people surveyed by QFES said they owned an RLIB device–when in fact the average for Queensland households is six devices.
  • 78% of respondents said they sometimes leave batteries and devices charging when they go out or go to sleep, while 45% said they do this always or often.
  • Almost half (48%) of Queenslanders charge devices on soft surfaces or in direct sunlight, which is a significant fire risk.
  • Younger Queenslanders (18-29 years) are less likely to turn the charger off when their device battery is full (32%) compared to the 45–65 years cohort (47%).
  • Only 12% of respondents strongly agree they have a good knowledge of the fire risks from RLIBs.

If you’ve got scooters around your business, you can help to educate your workforce about the potential risk of battery related fires.

Messages you can share to increase awareness:

  • Keep electric vehicles or scooters maintained as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Charge batteries as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check for damage to any charging cables and plugs before use.
  • Only use manufacturer recommended chargers, cables, and plugs.
  • Check if devices need to be disconnected when charged, or only charged to a certain capacity.

Further information

Read more about using and charging electric scooters