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Media Release

Lithium-Ion Battery Devices and the Potential Fire Hazards

(Huntsville / Lake of Bays) The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department is raising awareness about the hazards associated with lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery devices, such as smartphones, laptops, cordless power tools, e-bikes, and various other electronic gadgets prevalent in today's digital age. With the increasing reliance on these devices for communication, work, and entertainment, residents are encouraged to understand the potential risks and take appropriate precautions to prevent fire incidents.

Mishandling devices, such as dropping a power tool or exposing a smartphone to heat by leaving it on the dashboard of a car, may compromise the integrity of the battery. This increases the risk of a process called thermal runaway, where the battery's internal temperature rises uncontrollably, leading to the release of hydrogen which can result in catastrophic consequences, including fires or even explosions.

Warning signs of battery issues include expansion, changes in shape, excessive heat, leakage of fluids, vapor, or hissing or popping sounds. If any of these symptoms are observed, individuals are urged to evacuate the area immediately and call 911.

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department recommends residents to:

  • Never store or charge devices with lithium batteries in areas used for exiting, such as hallways, stairs, or doorways, to ensure safe evacuation in case of an emergency.
  • Purchase batteries from reputable manufacturers that adhere to safety standards.
  • Use undamaged charging cords that came with your device and avoid leaving batteries in a charger once fully charged to avoid potential overcharging.
  • Store batteries at room temperature and refrain from charging devices on soft materials like pillows, beds, or couches.
  • When disposing of lithium batteries, never throw them in the general trash. Instead, take them to a local hazardous waste depot or e-recycler.
  • Do not tamper with and/or modify lithium batteries in any way.

For more information, resources, and videos on lithium battery safety, please visit


Watch the video!

Having lithium batteries is not the problem. The problem is how do we handle them? How do we store them? What do we do with them? - Deputy Fire Chief Paul Calleja

For more information contact:

Steve Markham
Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department
Public Education/Fire Prevention Officer
705-789-5201 x 3609

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