Electrical items pose major fire risks

Woman charging a smartphone with wireless charger at home.

    Electrical items pose some major fire risks that many of us may leave ourselves open to without realising it. Lithium-ion batteries are a common part of everyday life, at home and at work. They are used in power tools, computers, personal devices, scooters and bikes, cars, and much more. The dangers they pose are prominent as Lithium-ion battery fire hazards can be caused by physical impact, overheating, internal cell failure, short circuits, or manufacturing defects.

    The London Fire Brigade attend on average 24 fires each week that have been started by chargers, batteries, and cables.

    When it comes to putting out a Lithium-Ion Battery fire there is only one extinguisher that will fully extinguish the fire, the Firechief Lith-Ex Extinguisher. This extinguisher contains Aqueous Vermiculite Dispersion (AVD), a revolutionary fire extinguishing agent. The water content of the extinguisher cools the fire source, while the Vermiculite platelets encapsulate the fuel source creating a thermal barrier, this is to prevent the propagation of the fire. The Vermiculite film is not electrically conductive. AVD is nearly twice as effective as water on Class A fires and is environmentally friendly.

    How to stay safe
    London Fire Brigade recommend the following safety advice when charging your devices:
    • Always use the charger that came with your phone, tablet, or e-cigarette
    • If you need to buy a replacement, always choose a branded, genuine product from a supplier you can trust. There are a lot of fakes on the market, and it can be difficult to spot the difference
    • Avoid storing, using, or charging batteries at very high or low temperatures
    • Protect batteries against being damaged through crushing, puncturing or immersion in water
    • Don’t leave items continuously on charge after the charge cycle is complete, e.g., don’t leave your phone plugged in overnight
    • Never cover chargers or charging devices, this includes using your laptop power lead in bed
    • When you travel, avoid keeping all your items containing lithium-ion batteries together, especially on a plane
    • Don’t overload your sockets – learn more about how much is too much here


    Did you know?

    According to The London Fire Brigade, ‘Counterfeit electrical chargers can be deadly – many fail to meet the UK safety regulations leading to fires and injury. What may seem like a bargain at the market isn’t worth the risk when you consider that it could cost a family member’s life.’

    The Firechief range includes high-performance fire extinguishers, fire blankets, first aid kits, lithium-ion fire extinguishers for your home and leisure time.  For more information, call us on +44 (0)330 999 0019 or email sales@firechiefglobal.com.

    The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where felt necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.