Firefighters save house from Lithium-Ion battery blaze - Warrawee

Published: 13 Oct 2023 02:47pm

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crews have saved a home from a large Lithium-Ion battery fire at Warrawee, on Sydney’s upper north shore.

A resident was charging the battery, used to power a leaf blower, in the carport of the home in Finlay Road, just before 5pm yesterday, when the cells went into ‘thermal runaway,’ catching fire.

The flames destroyed the carport which collapsed.

Neighbours used garden hoses in an attempt to extinguish the fire on the battle-axe property.

Five FRNSW appliances were quickly on scene and firefighters, in breathing apparatus, used two hose-lines to prevent the fire and smoke spreading to the adjacent house.

No-one was injured in the incident and all occupants and pets were accounted for.

Firefighters believe the battery might have been over-charged.

FRNSW reminds the public to:

  • Be aware that lithium-ion batteries are prone to reignite after the initial fire has been extinguished
  • Buy Lithium-Ion products and batteries from reputable suppliers that meet Australian standards
  • Only use cords and chargers supplied with the device…don’t use inferior, replacement components
  • Never charge devices while you are sleeping, away from the home or in places that could block your escape
  • Not over-charge batteries. Switch off any cells once fully charged to avoid over-heating
  • Try to charge micromobility devices like e-bikes and e-scooters outside, away from the home
  • Charge in a clear non-combustible area near a smoke alarm.
  • Note that any strong odours, extreme heat, colour change, deformity or strange sounds could indicate a problem with a Lithium-ion battery. Have it checked by a professional

Lithium-Ion batteries can enter ‘thermal runaway’ when they overheat or are damaged.

This leads to an off-gassing of toxic gas, often followed by an explosion and fire that’s generally very difficult to extinguish.

If a Lithium-Ion battery fire does occur, people should immediately seek a safe area and call Triple-Zero (000).

For more information, visit: [external link]

Updated: 13 Oct 2023 02:51pm

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Related safety topics

Battery and charging safety

It's important that we all understand the risks of lithium-ion batteries and be prepared if things go wrong.

Smoke alarms

It“s the law to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home.

Escape plans

Having a home escape plan and a working smoke alarm increases your chances of getting out safely.

Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.

For all life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)

For flood information, warnings or requests for non-life threatening assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or visit the NSW State Emergency Service website here. [external link].

For information directly relating to bushfires please call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Website here. [external link]

Stations nearby

GORDON Fire Station

966 Pacific Highway, Gordon (Pymble) NSW 2072

HORNSBY Fire Station

2 Bridge Road, Hornsby NSW 2077

BEECROFT Fire Station

109 Beecroft Road, Beecroft NSW 2119