Lithium-ion batteries

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Safe use of lithium-ion batteries

While lithium-ion batteries make life easier, they can be dangerous if used, charged or stored incorrectly.

Lithium-ion battery-related fires and explosions can cause property damage, house fires, serious injury and even death. As rechargeable batteries have become more common, so has the number of serious incidents.

In the case of any emergency call 000 immediately.

A lithium-ion battery fire is very difficult to extinguish with water – battery contents may reignite or explode several days later.

Lithium-ion battery uses

In Australia, lithium-ion batteries are commonly found in rechargeable electrical devices such as:

  • phones, lap tops and smart wearables
  • eRideable devices
  • camping and gardening equipment
  • toys
  • cordless tools
  • cordless household appliances

How to recharge safely

Most incidents with lithium-ion batteries occur while recharging. It is important to:

  • Charge batteries outside if possible (not in a hot shed or garage)
  • Avoid charging or storing in direct sunlight or a hot environment
  • Never charge batteries resting on a soft surface, such as a bed, sofa or carpet
  • As soon as a battery is fully charged, disconnect it
  • Avoid exposure to moisture
  • Avoid storing multiple batteries close to each other
  • Don’t use batteries that show signs of swelling, overheating or damage

Authentic charging devices

  • Only use original or compatible chargers with lithium-ion batteries
  • Avoid buying lithium-ion charged devices online if they do not include the original charger
  • Chargers that monitor the charge level (i.e. show when a battery if fully charged) are recommended


More tips for consumers on how to avoid the fire risk from these batteries visit Building and Energy's Lithium-ion battery safety page 

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