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Is Your Lithium Ion Battery at Risk of Exploding?

1286694297_55e1ccaedf_m.jpgLithium ion batteries are everywhere. They power our laptops, our cell phones, e-cigarettes, hoverboards, and myriad other electronic devices. Tech companies and consumers alike enjoy these batteries because they are able to store a significant amount of energy in a very small space and are generally light weight.

But these batteries can be incredibly dangerous, and in the right circumstances they are prone to catching fire, and in some instances, even killing people. In fact, several companies have been forced to recall their products due to faulty lithium ion batteries.

A few recent product recalls:

  • January, 2017: HP recalls laptop batteries shipped between March, 2013, and October, 2016. Extends to laptop batteries in HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion computers. In total, HP has recalled hundreds of thousands of batteries over the course of recalls in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011 prior to this.
  • September, 2016: Samsung recalls 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, across 10 countries, after discovering a flaw in the battery cell that caused fires.
  • February, 2017: Sony Electronics recalls its Panasonic lithium ion battery packs, which was installed in 18 different models if its VAIO Series laptops.
  • March, 2016: Toshiba recalls 39 laptop models that contain Panasonic lithium ion battery packs. Includes Toshiba Portege, Satellite, and Tecra laptops.
  • September, 2015: Fujitsu recalls 10 laptop models containing faulty lithium ion battery packs.

    Take Precautions

    These are just a few examples, but there are many more. These batteries are extremely volatile, and can cause serious injury, or in some cases even death. If your battery starts swelling, hissing, or overheating, immediately remove it from flammable materials and put it on a non-combustible surface-preferably outside because the emissions are toxic aside from the fire potential.

    There have been instances of lithium ion battery explosions in all kinds of different situations, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.Only use the charger that came with your device. Chargers from third parties can be unreliable and might not distribute power or be made as well as the original charger.

    • Keep your device away from extreme heat or cold. This can destabilize the materials in the battery.
    • Unplug your device as soon as it's fully charged. Overcharging can cause fires and explosions in some models of lithium ion batteries.
    • Do NOT charge your devices while you're sleeping or when you are not in attendance. In the event that your battery does overheat and start a fire, you want to be awake so that you can respond appropriately and quickly.

    At Righthand Law, we know lithium ion batteries. We will hold the companies accountable that create danger for all of us when they fail to make their products safe.

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