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Lithium-Ion Battery Fires - A Growing Risk for Property Owners

Electric bikes, scooters, and other devices powered by lithium-ion batteries are surging in popularity.

But these batteries can overheat and catch fire, posing a safety risk - especially in communal properties where charging areas may be crowded.

As an owner or manager, what can you do? Here are some tips:

  • First, educate residents. Make them aware of warning signs like heat, bulging, noise, smell, performance issues, or smoke from a battery.

  • Encourage inspection of cables before charging. Advise allowing batteries to fully cool before recharging.

  • Provide designated charging zones away from buildings and waste areas.

  • Don't let chargers block fire exits.

  • Only use manufacturer-approved equipment.

  • Don't leave charging unattended.

  • Have enough chargers to meet demand - no daisy-chaining.

  • Include e-bikes in safety checks.

  • Protect charging stations from vehicle damage.

  • Have a protocol for reporting damaged batteries or chargers.

  • Make sure residents know proper battery recycling - not trash or curbside.

  • Prohibit charging lithium batteries together.

  • Avoid cheap, faulty, or modified batteries. Check if chargers are overloaded.

  • Monitor neighbor sites too. Their lithium battery fires could spread. Coordinate safety efforts nearby.

With some preparation, you can reduce lithium battery fire risks in your building. Educate residents, provide safe charging, recycle batteries properly, inspect equipment, and coordinate with neighbors.

A few simple steps can prevent a dangerous and costly incident. Your residents will appreciate the peace of mind.


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