How can I prevent my batteries from catching fire?

There are things that you can do to prevent an incident involving lithium-ion batteries:

Prepare your space

  • Make sure a working smoke alarm or heat alarm is installed in areas where devices or batteries are charged or stored.
  • Don’t charge batteries or devices on combustible and insulating surfaces such as beds, sofas or carpet, and keep them away from highly flammable materials such as blankets, clothing, and paper.
  • Larger batteries and equipment such as power tools and electric scooters should be charged in the garage, shed or carport away from living spaces.
  • Don’t charge or store battery devices near exits or along egress paths where they might hinder or block your escape should they catch fire or become involved in one. 

When to charge

  • Avoid leaving batteries or devices unattended while being charged or charging overnight.
  • Once the indicator shows that a device or battery has been fully charged, disconnect it from the charger.

Safe charging

  • Only use chargers that are supplied with the equipment or device, or certified third-party charging equipment that is compatible with the battery specifications. Using chargers with incorrect power delivery (voltage and current) can cause damage to the battery including overheating that can lead to fires.
  • Only purchase and use devices and equipment from reputable manufacturers and suppliers.
  • Image of the Regulatory Compliance Mark graphic. A tick within a triangle.Check that chargers bear the Regulatory Compliance Mark, to show that it has met the relevant Australian Standards under the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) [external link].
  • Never use and charge devices such as phones, tablets and e-cigarettes or vaping devices at the same time in bed. They can overheat if you fall asleep.

Safe storage

  • Never store or leave batteries and devices in areas where they can be exposed to heat or moisture. Do not leave devices such as phones, computers or charging devices in direct sunlight or in parked vehicles where they can quickly heat up.
  • Don’t use batteries or devices that show signs of swelling or bulging, leaking, overheating, or signs of mechanical damage (cracked, dented, punctured, or crushed).
  • FRNSW recommends ensuring that a smoke alarm or a heat alarm (where a smoke alarm cannot be installed) is installed in areas where devices are often charged or stored. We recommend having a licenced electrician install and interconnect mains-powered smoke alarms where possible. Check with the manufacturer or distributor to ensure device models are compatible for interconnection.