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Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service addresses lithium-ion battery safety following Toronto incident

A row of e-bikes with the camera focusing on the lithium-ion battery

A row of e-bikes with the camera focusing on the lithium-ion battery

Kawartha Lakes – In the wake of a recent incident in Toronto where an e-bike equipped with lithium-ion batteries caught fire on a subway train, Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service (KLFRS) urges the public to be mindful of the proper usage and handling of lithium-ion batteries. This incident has prompted Toronto fire officials to issue a warning, emphasizing the potential risks associated with these batteries.

The incident occurred on New Year's Eve when an e-bike burst into flames inside a Toronto subway train, causing a person to sustain non-life-threatening injuries. Videos captured the intensity of the flames and the subsequent evacuation of the train as smoke billowed out. In light of this event, transit authorities stated policies allowing e-bikes on-board may be subject to review to ensure the safety of passengers and prevent similar incidents in the future.

For an example closer to home, in August, a house fire on Emily Park Road, east of Omemee, was caused by a charging e-bike battery that exploded. The damages were estimated to be in excess of $800,000.

KLFRS emphasizes the importance of using lithium-ion batteries responsibly and the importance of adhering to safety guidelines to mitigate potential risks. Lithium-ion batteries, commonly found in various electronic devices, can pose a fire hazard if mishandled, damaged, or improperly charged. Understanding and following proper usage practices is crucial in preventing accidents and ensuring public safety.

To ensure the safe use of lithium-ion batteries, KLFRS recommends the following precautions:

  1. Proper Charging: Always use the manufacturer-recommended charger for the specific device. Avoid using counterfeit or incompatible chargers that may lead to overcharging and overheating.
  2. Avoid Overcharging: Do not leave devices unattended while charging, and remove them from the charger once fully charged to prevent overcharging.
  3. Storage: Store devices with lithium-ion batteries in cool, dry places and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
  4. Inspect for Damage: Regularly inspect batteries and electronic devices for signs of damage, such as swelling, leaks, or unusual odors. Replace damaged or aging batteries promptly.
  5. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions for the proper use, maintenance, and disposal of electronic devices containing lithium-ion batteries.

KLFRS remains committed to public safety and encourages residents to stay informed about the proper handling of lithium-ion batteries. By taking the above precautions, individuals can contribute to reducing the risk of fire incidents and ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

Visit the KLFRS Fire Safety and Prevention page to learn more about fire safety in Kawartha Lakes.

More information about lithium-ion batteries can be found through the National Fire Protection Association webpage at:

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