Batteries Pose Increasing Fire Risks in Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Oregon’s Fire District 3 warns about increased fire risks caused by rechargeable batteries. The district includes Agate Lake, Central Point, Dodge Bridge, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Sams Valley, and White City, and was called to two fires last week involving lithium-ion batteries.

On its Facebook page, The Fire District’s Chief, Jason Allen, appeals to residents to recharge batteries during waking hours. He says batteries can cause fires when:

  • Overcharged
  • Subjected to overheating while on fast charge
  • Defects with the charger itself
  • Defective batteries
  • Short circuits from overuse
  • Physical damage such as cracks and dents


Fire Chief Warns Against Using Cheap Batteries

Allen warns that cheaper batteries can have inferior designs and calls on the public to “be smart” when charging batteries by purchasing products that have been laboratory-tested. He urges users to charge batteries in the device designed specifically for the product and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Charges should not be placed in an area where heat can be trapped, such as under cushions, blankets, or pillows.

Three safety measures to adopt, says Allen, are not to use batteries that emit a strange odor or change color or shape.

The Fire Chief points out that lithium-ion batteries are increasing in popularity, and he is concerned this will result in an increasing number of fires.


Lithium-ion Batteries

There is an increasing number of battery-operated products on the market, ranging from small toys to large-scale transportation applications. The risk of fire is increased by the number of inferior battery products and undercut quality-tested and established brands.

Consumers are urged by the Fire Chief to use recognized brands, not to recharge batteries while sleeping, to desist from using batteries that become discolored, emit strange odors, or change shape.

Fire Chief Allen says because of the increased incidents of battery-related fires, residents must actively adhere to safety measures while using battery-operated devices. Being aware will safeguard property and lives.

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