Battery Safety Guide
Lithium Ion batteries are safely used in literally millions of devices every day. However there are some risks associated with such high energy devices that users should be aware of. Batteries can present a fire risk when short-circuited, over-charged, submerged in water or if their cases are damaged. Although many Lithium Ion batteries are “protected”, the following cautions are still relevant, as the protection circuit is a potential safety mechanism rather than something that should be relied on. Li-Mn batteries (“IMR”) present safer chemistry and less fire-risk, but are capable of delivering very high power in a short burst. If short-circuited the metal causing the short can get hot very quickly, which may lead to other damage or secondary fire-risks.
Following the points below should lead to long battery life and extremely low risk to personal safety:
- Always buy from a reputable vendor that is proud of the quality of their goods.
- Check that the product or packaging displays the correct 'CE' safety mark and the distributor can prove their authenticity by providing appropriate certification if required.
- Do not mix a battery from one supplier with a charger from another unless compatibility is specifically confirmed.
- Always ensure batteries are charged using a suitable power source. Batteries and chargers should be used in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions.
- Do not leave a charging battery unattended. Battery units that can be turned off should always be turned off when not in use.
- Always charge the battery on a hard surface away from flammable materials and ensure battery/charger connections are kept clean.
- Never allow your batteries to come into contact with metal items, e.g. loose change or keys in a pocket or bag. This can result in short circuit of the battery. Loose batteries should always be stored in a protective case.
- If a battery is in any way damaged (including torn insulation), leaking or ceases to function normally, it should not be used.
- Do not expose the battery to extreme heat, cold or direct sunlight and never allow contact with water.
- Batteries should be recycled or disposed of in accordance with your country’s appropriate legislation.