Caught on Tape: Lithium Battery Fire Destroys 23 E-Bikes in Spain
A vast majority of lithium batteries are never involved in emergency incidents like the ones that seem to make headlines every week. In fact, these batteries can save lives when they power medical devices, and they make life a little bit easier for billions of us every day.
Still, the risks these batteries pose cannot and should not be ignored. As energy storage technology improves, so will the ferocity with which these batteries ignite or “explode.” For safety professionals, this means that training on safe lithium battery handling procedures may be a smart addition to any workplace safety program—and may even be required under OSHA’s General Duty Clause.
Lithium battery incidents on the nightly news may follow the old programming mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads,” but they also provide valuable insight into battery safety in general.
23 Motorbikes Burn in SpainA lithium battery fire is thought to the be the cause of a massive fire in Spain that destroyed 23 electronic bikes before a big race. Fortunately, no one was injured by the fire, which was caused by a prototype charging station used to charge the batteries powering the bikes.
MotoE series bosses Dorna have confirmed that 'a majority of material' has been lost in last night's fire at Jerez, but that thankfully no one was hurt. An investigation into the causes is underway. pic.twitter.com/HBpHTZl0wZ— MCN Sport (@MCNSport) March 14, 2019
HP Expands Notebook Computer Recall
On March 12, electronics manufacturer HP expanded its voluntary safety recall of lithium-ion batteries that power its commercial notebook computers and mobile workstations. In January 2018, HP recalled about 50,000 of these batteries. After receiving eight new reports of lithium batteries overheating, melting, or charring this year, the recall has been expanded to cover 78,500 more.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a list of affected HP products on its recall page.
A man in Kansas is suing a local “vape shop” after the spare battery he purchased there allegedly exploded in his pocket on the trip home. According to AP News, the man put the battery in his pocket with his car keys and coins. When a loose lithium battery touches metal objects, it can cause a short circuit, which in turn can overheat the battery.
Vape Shop Sued After Man Badly Burned by Battery
“It was like a flame thrower. It just ignited and was a big ball of fire,” the man’s attorney said, AP reports. Preventing contact with metal objects is one of the tips we offer in our Lithium Battery Safety Tips video below.
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