Managing Fire Risks from Lithium-Ion Batteries in Strata Buildings

Managing Fire Risks from Lithium-Ion Batteries in Strata Buildings

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In the age of technological advancement, lithium-ion batteries have become an integral part of our daily lives, powering an array of gadgets and vehicles. While these batteries offer convenience, they also pose fire risks if mishandled. Incidents of fires and explosions linked to lithium-ion batteries have underscored the need for vigilance, particularly in apartment complexes. Understanding and mitigating these risks are paramount for safer communities.

To ensure the safe utilisation of lithium-ion batteries within apartment settings, adhering to best practices and safety guidelines is imperative.

Here are key tips to minimise risks and enhance safety:

Choose Carefully:

  • Source lithium-ion batteries from reputable manufacturers and authorised dealers.
  • Employ qualified contractors for permanent installations, like solar panel battery banks.
  • Avoid cheap or counterfeit chargers to prevent overcharging and related hazards.

Inspect Regularly:

  • Periodically inspect batteries and devices for signs of damage such as swelling or leakage.
  • Discontinue use of devices showing faults and promptly replace the battery.
  • Stay informed about product recalls or safety notices concerning devices and batteries.

Use and store according to instructions:

  • Unplug devices upon full charge to prevent overcharging.
  • Charge devices in well-ventilated areas.
  • Avoid covering devices during charging to dissipate heat effectively.
  • Charge devices on heat-resistant surfaces to mitigate overheating risks.
  • Shield batteries from extreme temperatures, including high heat and humidity.
  • Store lithium-ion batteries partially charged (around 40-60%) for extended periods.

Dispose Safely:

  • Ensure responsible disposal of failed or redundant batteries.
  • Utilise local recycling centres or participate in battery recycling programs offered by electronic retailers.

In the event of a fire, apartment owners and occupants must adhere to emergency procedures and contact emergency services promptly. Each strata complex should have an evacuation plan, with all occupants being familiar with it.

Strata communities can play a pivotal role in minimising fire risks within their premises. Regular fire safety checks should be prioritised by the strata committee, tailored to meet specific state requirements. Fire safety equipment, including extinguishers, sprinklers, and smoke alarms, should be serviced regularly to ensure optimal functionality, with fire doors kept unobstructed.

Taking proactive measures to address battery safety not only safeguards individuals and properties but also promotes responsible and sustainable technology use. For further insights into lithium battery safety, CHU offers a comprehensive fact sheet, a valuable resource for communicating risks associated with lithium batteries to strata property owners.

By following these guidelines and raising awareness, strata communities can effectively manage fire risks associated with lithium-ion batteries, minimise risks and create a safer environment for all.

To learn more about managing fire risks and strata insurance, contact CHU. To discuss your property’s strata management needs or receive a FREE management proposal contact our friendly team. We also offer more helpful resources and community living news in our FREE newsletter.

The information provided is a general guide only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. The company disclaims all responsibility and liability for any expenses, losses, damages, and costs which might be incurred as a result of the information provided by the company. This content is published in partnership with CHU.

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