Monday, September 07, 2015

Lithium battery safety and laptops, notebooks, and smartphones

Do laptop computer and possibly smartphone users really need to be concerned about fires from lithium ion batteries? 

NBC Washington covered the problem tonight, before the first day of school

The main pointers, besides not damaging the equipment with careless use, seems to be, first, use only replacement batteries from the manufacture, and second, don’t overcharge (most batteries today should not be plugged in when the charge is between 40 and 90 percent), and use on a hard, non-metallic surface with airspace. And pay attention to safety recalls.  It is also recommended that charging be done when someone is awake and attending. 

There have been a few house or apartment fires around the country from laptop batteries, but a lot more from power strips that really weren’t surge protectors.  There has also been controversy about the batteries on planes, but usually they would have been already charged (already becoming a TSA requirement sometimes).

Josh Kirschner has an article on “Techolicious”, here;   and here is the chemistry lesson. 


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