Lithium Batteries Can Cause Fire Hazards If Not Handled Properly

Lithium batteries power many of the devices we depend on. These include portable computers, cordless tools and mobile telephones. lithium batteries in Malta are also used to power wheelchairs and motor vehicles.

A lithium battery has one of the highest energy densities among rechargeable batteries. In addition, it has a long lifespan, no memory effect and is environmentally friendly.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Almost everything we use, from our cordless power tools to the smartphones in our pockets, uses lithium technology. The chemistry allows for much higher energy density than lead acid batteries, meaning that more power can be stored in a given volume.

When you use your battery, the cathode and anode swap roles. When you charge, the polarity reverses again. This process, along with a chemical reaction within the battery, produces ions that pass back and forth between electrodes to give you the power you need.

Lithium batteries come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are easy to identify by their common alkaline counterparts, while others have a more specialized shape that’s used in specific products like children’s toys, wireless headphones, digital cameras and handheld power tools, as well as small and large appliances and electrical energy storage systems. Lithium-ion is the most popular type of lithium battery. It is also the most safe, provided cell manufacturers and battery packers take safety measures to keep voltages and currents at secure levels.


Lithium batteries are used in a wide range of devices including cell phones, laptops and electric cars. But they are not without risk, and they can cause fires if not handled properly. Ensure your equipment has the UL mark and that you only use chargers approved by the manufacturer for that particular device. Never leave a battery charged unattended and be sure to disconnect the power before storing it.

Observations indicate that many battery fires occur when the equipment is exposed to excessive heat. These fires can also be caused by design flaws such as overcrowding of battery cells and production problems such as metallic dust contamination.

Shipping lithium batteries poses a safety hazard in air cargo and passenger baggage if they are not prepared in accordance with international regulations. This is especially true if they are hidden, mis-declared or improperly packed and stowed. In addition, it is important to understand that not all lithium batteries are the same. There are actually two types of lithium batteries and cells – lithium metal and lithium polymer.


Modern lithium batteries, correctly used and installed as on-board batteries or in battery tenders are not ticking time bombs. If they are damaged or operated beyond their capacity, however, they can heat up rapidly and release energy uncontrollably – this is called thermal runaway.

The result is a fire that can burn down a yacht. It is important to be aware of the risks associated with lithium batteries, so that you can avoid them at all times. This is especially true when preparing to transport them by air, either in passenger baggage or as cargo. Make sure you have the Watt-hour (Wh) rating and lithium content of each battery clearly marked when preparing to ship them. You will also need the original purchase receipt to show proof of ownership. All batteries must be taped, both rechargeable and single-use, before they can be brought to Haz Bin or a store. Clear tape is best, since it will allow staff to easily see the battery type for sorting purposes.


Lithium batteries provide the energy that powers many of our daily devices, from mobile phones and cordless tools to laptop computers, scooters and motor vehicles. However, their high energy density can create fire hazards if they are improperly handled or stored.

The lithium ions within the battery are separated from their electrons by the electrolyte during a discharge cycle, and then recombined with their electrons in the cathode when the battery is recharged. This process is what allows lithium-ion batteries to have such a high voltage and charge storage per unit of volume.

To ensure lithium cells and batteries have a long service life, they should be maintained at around 50% to 60% charge and refrigerated in a dry place. It is also important to keep them away from metal objects, which could cause a short circuit or damage the battery. The battery should never be squeezed, knocked, stepped on or modified in any way.

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