The Parma Fire Department has seen a noticeable surge in lithium battery fires recently. Lithium batteries are common in e-bikes, scooters, electric cars, smartphones, laptops and other everyday devices. These batteries are portable and rechargeable, but when left to charge too long, they can combust or even explode.
The fires are not only becoming more common, but they’re particularly dangerous. When lithium batteries combust or explode, they can cause catastrophic injury and death.
Here’s what you need to know about safe operation, and what to do if you’re seriously injured by a lithium battery.
Lithium batteries and fire danger
Lithium battery fires are not like regular household fires. Lithium batteries can overheat and set off an internal chain reaction. When one cell increases in temperature, it causes other cells to overheat. This can cause fires and explosions.
Parma Fire Marshall Captain Ricky Fetter explained, “You have a battery and there could be 100 cells…In that battery, if one cell lights off, every other cell is going to light off. It’s almost impossible to put these fires out once they start.”
As a result, fire department resources are stretched thin: it costs more in labor and time to put the batteries out. After the fire is over, the fire department has to clean up and safely dispose of the battery, which adds additional cost.
Although any lithium battery can overheat and start a fire, larger batteries, such as those on electric vehicles, e-bikes and hoverboards, should be charged outside. Because lithium battery fires are unpredictable and difficult to put out, the chance of catastrophic injury, death and extreme property damage is higher when you charge indoors.
The Parma Fire Department also recommends that people use certified batteries and conversion kits if you plan to convert your bicycle to an e-bike. Uncertified batteries pose a higher fire risk.
What to do if you’re injured in a lithium battery fire
If you’re seriously injured in a lithium battery fire, you may have legal options. First, seek medical help immediately. Burns can leave behind lifelong scarring, nerve damage and psychological suffering, among other consequences.
Once your medical condition is stable and you’re on the road to recovery, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny. We’ll evaluate your claim and let you know whether you’re eligible to file a personal injury suit against the manufacturer or other parties.
Call an Ohio personal injury attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your accident claim. If you or a loved one were injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.